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Mantesh 

I FILM BOOK 



Mantesh 



IFILMBOOK 

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF film 

Content previously published in Eyewitness Companion Film 



Ronald Bergan 




LONDON -NEW YORK 
MUNICH ■ MELBOURNE ■ DELHI 



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First American Edition, 201 1 
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Based on content previously published in 
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Mantesh 

Contents 



Introduction 6 

The Story of Film 10 



1895-1919 The Birth of Film 12 

1920-1929 Silence is Golden 16 

1 930-1 939 Film Comes of Age 22 

1940-1949 Film Goes to War 26 

1950-1959 Film Fights Back 32 

1960-1969 The NewWave 38 

1970-1979 Independence Days 44 

1980-1989 The International Years 48 

1 990-Present Celluloid to Digital 54 

How Movies Are Made 60 



Pre-production 64 

Production 68 

Post-production 73 

Movie Genres 76 



Action-adventure 80 

Animation 82 

Avant-Garde 85 

Biopic 86 

Comedy 87 

Costume Drama 91 

Cult 92 

Disaster 93 

Documentary 94 

Epic 96 

Film Noir 98 

Gangster 100 

Horror 102 

Martial Arts 104 

Melodrama 105 

Musical 106 

Propaganda 110 

Science Fiction and Fantasy 112 

Serial 115 

Series 116 

Teen 117 

Thriller 118 

Underground 119 

War 120 

Western 122 



World Film 


126 


Africa 


132 


Thp Middlp Fa^t 

1 MC l v IIUULC LUJl 


134 


Iran 


135 


Eastern Europe 


136 


Thp Ral kanc; 

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140 


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142 


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145 


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148 


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151 


Italy 


154 


llmtprl Kinnrlnm 

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156 


Spain 


158 


Portugal 


160 


Canada 


161 


Central America 


162 


South America 


164 


China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan 


167 


Korea 


170 


Japan 


171 


India 


174 


Ai i^tra 1 \p\ and Npw 7pal;=inrl 

r\uoii aua uiiu new Lcaiai iu 


176 


A-Z of Directors 


178 


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1 1 Ul 1 LCD a 1 1 U IIUMUUIGUIIICD Ul 1 U U Ul 




the world's greatest movie directors 




Top 100 Movies 


254 


A chronological guide to the 




most influential movies of all time 




Glossary 


344 


Index 


346 


Acknowledgments 


351 




INTRODUCTION I 7 



In the US, movies began in the penny-arcade kinetoscopes of 
the 1890s. You dropped a penny in a slot and peered through 
a viewfinder at a grainy image. In time, this new medium 
became the largest entertainment industry the world has 
ever known, developing into the 20th century's new art form. 



From its very beginnings, film provided 
romance and escapism for millions of people 
all over the globe. It was the magic carpet 
that took them away from the harsh realities 
of life. The movies offered a panacea in the 
years of the Great Depression in the US; were 
the opium of the people through World War II; 
and continued to transport the public away 
from reality throughout the following decades. 
It was Hollywood, California, known as "the 
Dream Factory," which eventually supplied 
most of "the stuff that dreams are made of." 

However, although Hollywood has dominated 
the worldwide film industry since the 1920s, it 
is not the only "player" in a truly global market. 
What makes film the most international of the 
arts is the vast range of movies that come from 
more than 50 countries— films that are as 
multifarious as the cultures that produce them. 
More and more countries, long ignored as 
filmmaking nations, have produced films that 
have entered the international consciousness. 

Certainly in the last few decades, creative 
film has spread from the US and Europe 
to Central and Eastern Asia, and to the 

Q An exuberant Gene Kelly is seen here 
in a publicity still from Singin' in the Rain 
(1952), a musical which affectionately 
satirizes the early days of sound. 



developing world— the most amazing example 
of which is Iran. African nations have given 
birth to directors of unique imagination, such 
as Ousmane Sembene and Souleymane Cisse. 
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea have 
produced films of spectacular visual quality 
as well as absorbing content. There has also 
been a huge revival of film in Spain and 
the Latin American countries. Denmark, 
neglected as a filmmaking nation since the 
days of the great director Carl Dreyer, started 
to experience a renaissance in the late 1980s. 

The barriers between English-language 
films and those of the rest of the world are 
disappearing every day, as witnessed by 
the cultural cross-fertilization of stars and 
directors. A child in the US is just as likely 
to watch Japanese "anime" movies as Walt 
Disney cartoons, and young people in the 
West are as familiar with Asian martial arts 
films or mainstream Hindi ones, as audiences 
in the East are with US movies. 

However, not only does film provide 
pure entertainment to audiences across 
the world, it is also known as "the seventh 
art." Writing about film as early as 1916, 
German psychiatrist Hugo Munsterberg 
discussed the unique properties of film, and 
its capacity to reformulate time and space. 



INTRODUCTION 



□ Another Fine Mess 

(1930) starred the 
hapless comic duo 
Stan Laurel and 
Oliver Hardy in a 
characteristically 
perilous situation. 



□ Maggie Cheung 

plays Flying Snow 
in Zhang Yimou's 
spectacular Hero 
(2002), an example 
of an Asian martial 
arts film entering 
the mainstream in 




Riccioto Canudo, an Italian-born French 
critic, argued in 1926 that film must go 
beyond realism and express the filmmakers' 
emotions as well as the characters' 
psychology, and even their unconscious. 
These possibilities of film were expressed 
by French "impressionist" filmmakers and 
theorists— Louis Delluc and Jean Epstein — 



and were underlined by the montage 
theory that was expounded by the great 
Russian filmmakers of the 1920s. They 
disturbed the accepted continuity of 
chronological development and attempted 
new ways of tracing the flow of characters' 
thoughts, replacing straightforward 
storytelling with fragmentary images 
and multiple points of view. 

Film began to equal other arts in 
seriousness and depth, not only with so- 
called "art film," but also in mainstream 
filming, in which directors such as D.W. 
Griffith, Fritz Lang, Charlie Chaplin, Busby 
Berkeley, Walt Disney, Jean Renoir, Orson 
Welles, John Ford, and Alfred Hitchcock 
can be counted as pioneers. Technical 
developments, such as fast film, sound, 
Technicolor, CinemaScope, and lightweight 
camera equipment, were used to look into 
new ways of expression on the big screen. 




INTRODUCTION 



9 






In the Last decade of the 20th century, 
computer-generated imagery (CGI) continued 
this exploration, while digital cameras enabled 
more people to make features than ever 
before. With the emergence of videos and 
DVDs, and the downloading of movies from 
the internet, films can be viewed in a variety 
of ways. As British director Peter Greenaway 
said, "More films go to people nowadays than 
people go to films." Directors are learning 
to come to grips with these new methods 
of film-watching. Yet, whatever technical 
advances have been made, no matter where 
and how we watch films, whether seen on 
a cell phone or on a giant screen, whether it 
is an intimate drama in black-and-white or 
a spectacular epic in Technicolor, it is the 
intrinsic quality of the film— the direction, 



the screenplay, the cinematography, and the 
acting— that continues to astonish, provoke, 
and delight audiences. 

We have attempted to make this guide 
to film as objective as possible, and to 
include films and directors that have made 
a difference to film, although some subjective 
selectivity is unavoidable. 

A note about foreign-language titles: in many 
cases, both the English title and the original 
title of the movie are given. However, when 
the title of the film has never been translated 
or the movie is best known under its original 
title (for example, La Dolce Vita rather than The 
Sweet Life), the original title is used. If the film 
is better known by its English title (such as In 
the Mood For Love rather than Fayeung ninwa), 
we have given the English version only. 



□ Edmund (Skandar 
Keynes) is confronted 
by the CGI-created 
Lion Asian, in The 
Chronicles of Narnia: 
The Lion, the Witch and 
the Wardrobe (2005). 




4 



4 



12 



THE STORY OF FILM 



1895-1919 The Birth of Film 

In 1995, the world celebrated the centenary of film, marking the date 
the Lumiere brothers had patented a device that displayed moving images. 
From the late 19th century into the first decades of the 20th century, the 
love affair with film grew. 



□ The Arrival of a Train 
at a Station [L'Arivee 
d'un Train en Gare de 
La Ciotat, 1895) was a 
single-shot sequence 
Lasting 50 seconds, 
filmed by Louis Lumiere. 
The audience ducked 
under their seats, 
convinced that the 
train was real. 




□ The Lumieres' 
first showing of the 

Cinematographe 
Lumiere attracted 
Little attention, but 
the crowds swelled, 
and soon, more than 
2,000 people were 
lining up daily. 



Why did the world celebrate the centenary of film 
in 1995? Thomas Alva Edison patented his invention 
of the Kinetoscope in 1 891 . This was first shown 
publicly in 1893. It was a peep-show device in 
which a 50ft (1 .5m) loop of film gave continuous 
viewing. The first pictures were of dancing girls, 
performing animals, and men at work. However, 
one could go even further back than this. Film- 
photographic images printed on a flexible, 



semi-transparent celluloid base and cut into 
strips— was devised by Henry M. Reichenbach 
for George Eastman's Kodak company in 1889. 
It was based on inventions variously attributed to 
the brothers J.W. and I.S. Hyatt (1865), to Hannibal 
Goodwin (1888), and to Reichenbach himself. 

However, this would be dating film from its 
conception rather than its birth, and is only one 
step along the road to film as we know it. 



1895-1919 

1895 1897 



1899 



1900 



1903 



1905 



The Lumiere 
brothers patent and 
demonstrate the 
Cinematographe. 



Melies builds a 
studio at Montreuil- 
sous-Bois, near 
Paris, where 
he eventually 
produces more 
than 500 films. 



Humphrey Bogart, 

Fred Astaire, 
James Cagney, Noel 
Coward, and Alfred 
Hitchcock are born. 



At the World Fair 

in Paris, 1 .5 million 
gaze at a giant 
Cinematographe. 



The Great Train 
Robbery is released, 
launching the 
Western as a 
movie genre. 



The first Nickelodeon 

opens in Pittsburgh, 
PA, seating 100. 

The American 
entertainment trade 
journal Variety 
begins publication. 



THE BIRTH OF FILM 



13 



The Lumiere brothers 

In France, brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere 
were working in their father Antoine's photographic 
studio in Lyon. Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope 
was shown in Paris in 1894; in the same city, Louis 
Lumiere began work on a machine to compete with 
Edison's device. The Cinematographe— initially a 
camera and projector in one— was patented in the 
brothers' names on February 13, 1895. 

The first public performance of the 
Cinematographe took place on December 28, 
1895 at the Salon Indien in the Grand Cafe on 
the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. It was a 
20-minute program of 10 films recorded with 
an immobile camera, with occasional panning. 
The first film seems to have been Workers Leaving 
the Lumiere Factory (1895), in which a few hundred 
people pour out of the gates, including a man on a 
bicycle, a dog, and a horse. Some have argued that 
the film was staged, because none of the workers 
look at the camera or walk toward it. 

Other Lumiere films shown at this first film 
show included The Demolition of a Wait (1896), 
in which reverse motion was used to "rebuild" a 
wall, making it the first film with special effects. 
Louis Lumiere's Watering the Gardener (1895) is 
considered the first comedy. It shows a gardener 
receiving a jet of water in the face when a naughty 
boy steps on a hose and then releases it. 

In the audience at this Cinematographe show 
was Georges Melies. He was a conjurer, cartoonist, 
inventor, and mechanic, and was greatly excited by 
what he saw. On April 4, 1896, Melies opened his 
Theatre Robert Houdin as a movie theater. In 1898, 
the shutter of his camera jammed while he was 
filming a street scene. This incident made him 
realize the potential of trick photography to create 
magical effects. He went on to develop many 
cinematic devices, such as superimposition and 



I 



NICKELODEONS 



The first movie theaters were called 
nickelodeons. The price of a ticket was 
just a nickel, or five cents, and "odeon" is 
the Greek word for theater. They seated 
about 100 and showed films continuously, 
ensuring a steady flow of spectators. The 
first was built in the US in 1905, and by 
1907, around two million Americans 
were going to nickelodeons every day. 
However, the boom was short-lived. 
By 1910, theaters with larger seating 
capacity, capable of showing longer 
films, were starting to replace them. 

□ In 1908, there were around 8,000 
nickelodeons throughout the US. The 
Comet Theatre in New York City was 
one of them. 




stop motion. For example, in The Melomaniac (1903), 
Melies plays a music master who removes his head, 
only for it to be replaced by another and another. As 
the music master throws each head onto a telegraph 
wire, they form a series of musical notes. 




Q A Trip to the Moon 
[Le Voyage dans la 
Lune, 1902) was one 
of Georges Melies' 
fantastical films. 



1906 1908 1911 1913 1914 1915 



















The Story of 
the Kelly Gang 

premieres in 
Melbourne, 
Australia. At 70 
minutes, it is the 
longest feature 
film till then. 


The first movie 
star, Florence 
Lawrence, appears 
in 38 films. 


Credits begin 
to appear at the 
beginning of films. 


The "Hollywood- 
name is formally 
adopted, and 
becomes the center 
of the film industry. 


The first "picture 
palace," The Strand, 
opens in New York. 
It seats 3,300. 

Charlie Chaplin 

appears as the 
"Little Tramp" in Kid 
Auto Races at Venice. 


D.W. Griffith's 
3-hour epic, The 

Birth of a Nation 

premieres. 



Q The Squaw Man 

(19U), a Western 
adapted from the stage 
and directed by Cecil 
B. DeMille, was the 
first feature-Length 
film to be produced 
in Hollywood. 



THE FIRST BOX OFFICE HITS 



1 Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory 

(Lumiere brothers, France, 1895) 

2 Watering the Gardener 

(Louis Lumiere, France, 1895) 

3 The Demolition of a Wall 

(Louis Lumiere, France, 1896] 

4 A Trip to the Moon 

(Georges Melies, France, 1902) 

5 The Great Train Robbery 
(EdwinS. Porter, US, 1903) 

6 The Melomaniac 

(Georges Melies, France, 1903) 

7 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 

(Georges Melies, France, 1907) 

8 The Tunnel Under the English Channel 

(Georges Melies, France, 1907) 

9 The Squaw Man (Cecil B. DeMille, US, 1914) 



10 The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, US, 1915) 



Fantasy and reality 

Film scholars have pointed out that the films of 
the Lumiere brothers and of Melies reveal the 
distinction between documentary and fiction films. 
The Lumieres employed cameramen to travel the 
world, while Melies remained in his studio making 
his fantastic films. Among the hundred or so Melies 
films still in existence are two adaptations of novels 
by Jules Verne: A Trip to the Moon (1 902) and 20, 000 
Leagues Under the Sea (1907). 

The birth of Hollywood films 

In the early 20th century, American movie production 
companies were located in New York. Biograph 
Studios (est. 1896) was an early home of the creative 
forces behind many major silent films. Slapstick 
pioneer Mack Sennett worked there and at another 
New York studio, Keystone (est. 1912). There Charlie 
Chaplin also made movies, until, already famous, 
he was lured away to Essanay (est. 1 907) in 1915. 
However, the man with the greatest influence on 




THE BIRTH OF FILM 



15 



the movies as an art form was David Wark (D.W.) 
Griffith. From his first film, The Adventures of Dollie 
(1908), he transformed the medium. Originally 
an actor, he [earned about filmmaking from his 
employer, Edwin S. Porter, whose movie The 
Great Train Robbery (1 903) was the first to convey 
a defined story and use a Long-shot and a final 
ciose-up (of a bullet fired at the audience). 
Between 1908 and 1913, he directed 450 titles, 
in which he developed film grammar and camera 
placement, and learned to elicit naturalistic 
acting from his actors. The Biblical spectacle 
Judith ofBethulia[]9]^) was America s first 
four-reeler and The Birth of a Nation (1915) 
was its first masterpiece. 

Just before the start of World War I, a number 
of independent producers moved to a small suburb 
to the west of Los Angeles; Hollywood, as we know 
it today, began to take shape. More and more films 
were shot there because of the space and freedom 
the area provided. In 1913, Cecil B. DeMille directed 



The Squaw Man there, and in March 1915, Carl 
Laemmle opened Universal Studios at a cost 
of $165,000. A pioneering role can be ascribed 
to Thomas Ince, who devised the standard studio 
system, which concentrated production into vast, 
factorylike studios. 

At the same time, the star system was developed 
and refined. The first performer to lay claim to 
the title of movie star was Florence Lawrence, 
"The Biograph Girl." Theda Bara was the subject 
of the first full publicity campaign to create a star 
image. Her background was tailored to fit the role 
of the exotic "vamp." At the same time, other 
stars were gaining influence. Three of the most 
famous, worldwide, were Mary Pickford, Douglas 
Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin. Pickford, who 
made her name as "Little Mary," made enormous 
amounts of money with films such as Little Rich 
Girl and Rebecca ofSunnybrook Farm (both 1917). 
In 1920, she married Fairbanks, who gained 
a following after several satires on American 
life. On January 15, 1919, unhappy with 
the lack of independence in 
working under contract to 
others, Chaplin, Pickford, 
Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith 
founded the United Artists 
Corporation. Unlike the other 
big companies, United Artists 
owned no studio of its own and 
rented the space required for 
each production. Moreover, 
it had no movie theater holdings 
and had to arrange the 
distribution of its products 
with theaters or circuits. 
Despite these drawbacks, 
however, United Artists 
was able to sustain itself, 
and survived. 




□ Cleopatra (1917) 
starred Theda Bara, 
aka Theodosia Goodman 
from Cincinnati, USA. 
Her pseudonym 
was an anagram 
of "Arab Death". 



Q This silent movie 
camera stands on top 
of a sturdy tripod, and 
was cranked by hand. 




16 



THE STORY OF FILM 



1920-1929 Silence is Golden 

The Silent Film Era saw the consolidation of the studio system that 
continued into the 1950s. The 1920s was also a decade in which the 
first great stars lit up the screen, including Garbo and Dietrich. By 1929, 
however, a technological innovation had changed the course of film. 



In the economic boom that followed World War I, 
film moguls Carl Laemmle, Adolph Zukor, William 
Fox, Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, and Jack 
Warner with his brothers Harry, Albert, and Samuel 
(all European Jewish emigrants), tightened their 
grip on the film industry. 

Genres and stars 

The studios began to turn out stories that repeated 
themes and structures, forming what would later 
be dubbed "genres." Westerns became a staple 
of the studios in the 1920s. These films made 
good use of Californian locations. Cowboy stars, 
who seldom deviated from their established 
screen roles, included W.S. Hart, Tom Mix, 
and Hoot Gibson. Both James Cruze's 

BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1920s 

■ 

1 The Big Parade (King Vidor, US, 1925) 

2 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 
(Rex Ingram, US, 1921) 

3 Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, US, 1925) 

I* The Ten Commandments 

(Cecil B. DeMille, US, 1923) 

5 What Price Glory (Raoul Walsh, US, 1 926) 

6 The Covered Wagon (James Cruze, US, 1 923) 

7 Way Down East[ D.W. Griffith, US, 1920) 

8 The Singing Fool (Lloyd Bacon, US, 1928) 

9 Wings (William A. Wellman, US, 1927) 

10 The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, US, 1925) 




1920-1929 



1920 1921 1922 1924 











The "marriage of the century/' 

between stars Douglas 
Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, 
takes place. He buys her a 
lodge— and names it Pickfair. 


Fatty Arbuckle is 

acquitted of the rape 
and manslaughter 
of Virginia Rappe. 


Robert J. Flaherty releases 

Nanook of the North, about the 
life of an Eskimo family, the first 
film to be called a documentary. 

Rin Tin Tin becomes the first 
canine movie star, helping save 
Warner Bros, from bankruptcy. 


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 

(MGM) is founded by 
the merging of three 
production companies. 




SILENCE IS GOLDEN 17 



Collective 
madness, 

incarnating the 
tragic comedy 
of a new 
fetishism ■■ 

The Vatican, 1926, on the 
orgy of mourning following 
the death of Valentino 

The Covered Wagon (1923) and John Ford's The 
Iron Horse (1924) showed the epic and artistic 
possibilities of the genre. 

However, it was American comedy that reached 
the widest audiences worldwide during the Silent 
Film Era. This was due mainly to the comic genius 
of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, 
Harry Langdon, and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy- 
all of whom reached their apogee in the 1 920s. 

The studios recognized the value of typecasting, 
so that the audience quickly identified the persona 
of the stars by the roles they played. One of the 
biggest of these stars was Rudolph Valentino. 
Valentino came to the US from Italy in 1913 as a 
teenager. After becoming a professional dancer in 
the cafes of New York, he ventured out to California 
in 1917. In 1921, he appeared as the playboy hero in 
Rex Ingram's The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 
and became the unrivaled Latin lover of the screen— 
the male equivalent of the vamp. The Sheik (also 
1921) sealed his seductive image forever. 



In the optimism and materialism of the 1920s, 
Hollywood began to represent glamor, as well 
as a defiance of conventional morality. Because 
of concerns over the immorality of the film business 
both off and on screen, in 1 921 , the Motion Picture 
Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) was 
founded as a self-regulating body. Will H. Hays, 
former Post-Master General, was its first president. 
Serving until his retirement in 1945, Hays tried to 
mold the Hollywood product into a wholesome and 
totally inoffensive form of family entertainment. His 
singular power led to the MPPDA being known as 
the Hays Office; the Production Code on matters of 
morality was called the Hays Code (est. 1934). 



[ 



STAR SCANDALS 



During the 1920s, a rash of scandals broke out 
in the Hollywood community. There was the 
unsolved murder of director William Desmond 
Taylor, involving film star Mabel Normand (Mack 
Sennett's lover); Thomas Ince's mysterious 
death on newspaper tycoon William Randolph 
Hearst's yacht; and the trial of comedian Roscoe 
"Fatty" Arbuckle, for rape and murder. 




□ Fatty Arbuckle (1887-1933) was cleared 
of the charges brought against him, but his 
career was finished. 




D Film poster, 1926 



1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 

















The Phantom of the 
Opera is released, 
starring Lon Chaney in 
his most notable role. 

Charlie Chaplin's The 
Gold Rush is released. 


Don Juan is released 
by Warner Bros., with 
sound effects and music 
but no dialogue. 

Rudolph Valentino dies. 
Some 100,000 fans attend 
his funeral; a few even 
attempt suicide. 


Fox's Movietone news re el, 
the first sound news film, 
is released. 


Mickey Mouse appears 
for the first time, in 
Steamboat Willie. 


George Eastman 

demonstrates his first 
film in Technicolor. 

The first Academy 
Awards ceremony 

is held in Hollywood. 



18 



THE STORY OF FILM 



□ Pola Negri (1894- 
1987) started her 
career in Germany 
before coming to 
Hollywood with Ernst 
Lubitsch in the 1920s. 




Sin and sophistication 

Nevertheless, "It Girl" Clara Bow and "Flapper" Joan 
Crawford were seen as freewheeling symbols of 
the jazz age, replacing the post-Victorian ideals 
of womanhood as exemplified by Mary Pickford, 
Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and Bessie Love. D.W. 
Griffith's melodramas, Broken Blossoms (1919) 
and Way Down East (1920) marked the end of an 
era, while Cecil B. DeMille made a series of risque 
domestic comedies that tested limits. Six of these 
moral tales, such as Male and Female (1919), 
starred Gloria Swanson as an extravagantly 
dressed sophisticate, more sinned against than 



sinning. European sophistication was offered by 
Erich von Stroheim, who built almost the whole of 
Monte Carlo on the Universal backlot for Foolish 
Wives (1922). Among the marital comedies of 
manners that Ernst Lubitsch directed at Warner 
Bros, were The Marriage Circle (1924) and Lady 
Windermere's Fan (1925). At the time, Lubitsch 
admitted that he had been inspired by Charlie 
Chaplin's Woman of Paris (1923), in which Edna 
Purviance, Chaplin's leading lady in almost 30 
comedies, played a high-class prostitute. 

The studios, now strongly established in 
Hollywood, started to buy up talented directors 
from Europe. These included Ernst Lubitsch and 
F.W. Murnau from Germany, Michael Curtiz from 
Hungary, and Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjostrom 
from Sweden. There were also leading players 
to enrich the star system, such as Polish-born 
Pola Negri. She was the first European actress 
to be given the full Hollywood star treatment. 
Another European-born star was the imposing 
Swiss-born Emil Jannings, who arrived in 
Hollywood from Germany in 1927. He was the 
first to win the Best Actor Oscar twice, for The Way 
of All Flesh (1927) and The Last Command (1928). 

Garbo and Gilbert 

Swedish-born Greta Gustafsson (1905-1990) 
was brought to Hollywood by Louis B. Mayer in 
1925 with her mentor, Mauritz Stiller, who had 
renamed her Garbo, made her lose 22lb (10kg), 
and created her mystique. However, Stiller was 



PICTURE PALACES 



The heyday of the picture palaces was roughly the period 
spanning the two world wars. During these years, hundreds of 
movie houses were built all over the world, and with splendid 
foyers, imposing staircases, and mighty Wurlitzer organs, 
many were masterpieces of Art Deco architecture. On average, 
they were capable of seating about 2,000 people, and ran three 
or four movie shows every day. These opulent pleasure palaces 
insulated the public from the harsh outside world and were as 
much a part of the experience of movie-going as the film itself. 
However, by the end of the 1 930s, box office returns were failing 
to keep pace with the vast investment required by the studios to 
maintain the lavish picture palaces. 



□ The illustration shows London's Art Deco Regal 
Cinema, which was opened in 1932. 




vGiL _ 

>. Ji i HI 




19 




not chosen to direct her first American film, 
The Torrent (1925), and was replaced by Clarence 
Brown (1890-1987) after only ten days on her 
second film, Flesh and the Devil (1 926). 

The urgency of Garbo's iove scenes with John 
Gilbert, with whom she was involved offscreen, 
conveyed a mature sexuality and vulnerability never 
before seen in American films. The cinematographer 
William Daniels, who shot nearly all her Hollywood 
movies, devised a subtle romantic lighting for her 
that did much to enhance her screen image. 

Garbo and Gilbert were paired for the last time 
in Queen Christina (1933). While the film launched 
Garbo into a series of tragic roles on which her 
reputation as an actress rests, Gilbert starred in 
just one further picture before dying of a heart 
attack brought on by excessive drinking. 

Action and horror 

Home-grown talent was also in evidence in 
Hollywood. Lon Chaney was justly famed for 
his make-up skills and was known as "The Man 
With a Thousand Faces." However, his portrayal 
of a series of grotesques in such films as The 
Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom 
of the Opera (1925) was based not only on external 
distortion but sensitive acting, bringing a quality 
of humanity even to these most warped and 
terrifying characters. 



Also hugely popular was the derring-do of 
Douglas Fairbanks, who went from strength 
to strength in The MarkofZorro (1920), Robin 
Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and 
The Black Pirate (1926), all of which were built 
around the star's muscular athleticism. Fairbanks 
had a hand in every aspect of filmmaking and 
was particularly interested in set design. 




□ Flesh and the Devil 

(1926) was the first 
and most memorable of 
the three silent films in 
which Greta Garbo and 
her lover, John Gilbert, 
were paired. Garbo, 
at her most seductive, 
plays a femme fatate. 



□ The final shot 

of Raoul Walsh's 
spectacular The Thief 
of Bagdad (1924) shows 
Douglas Fairbanks 
(in the title role) and 
Julanne Johnston (as 
his princess), sailing 
over the rooftops 
on a magic carpet. 



20 THE STORY OF FILM 




□ The German poster 

for Pandora's Box (1929) 
shows the unique allure 
of Louise Brooks. 



□ An unemployed 

man in a soulless big 
city appeals for help 
in King Vidor's silent, 
poignant masterpiece, 
The Crowd (1928). 



Europe and Russia 

After World War I, the prosperity of the film 
industry in France and Italy was eclipsed by 
increased imports of American films. Nevertheless, 
despite the flood of Hollywood movies, Europe 
continued to produce works of great artistic quality. 
Among the masterpieces were Abel Gance's 
Napoleon (1927) and Carl Dreyer's The Passion 
of Joan of Arc (1928) from France; and G.W. Pabst's 
Pandora's Box (1929) and Fritz Lang's Metropolis 

(1927) from Germany. In the Soviet Union, the 
release of Sergei Eisenstein's Strike (1 924) paved 
the way for one of the most exciting periods of 
experimentation and creative freedom in the 
history of Soviet film. 

The coming of sound 

In contrast, barring notable exceptions such as 
F.W. Murnau's Sunrise (1927), Frank Borzage's 
Seventh Heaven (1927)— which won three of the 
very first Oscars— and King Vidor's The Crowd 

(1928) , Hollywood production was unremarkable 
in the late 1920s. Conditions were ripe for radical 
innovation. In August 1926, Warner Bros., ailing 
financially, presented the first synchronized 
program using a sound-on-disc system called 
Vitaphone. Their main intention was to offer movie 
theater owners a substitute for the live performers 
in their programs— in particular the movie 
orchestra and the stage show. Because of this, 





□ New Yorkers line up to see The Jazz Singer (1927), 
eager to experience the novelty of synchronized 
sound —the "talkies"— for the first time. 

their first feature film with sound [Don Juan, 1 926, 
starring John Barrymore) was not a talking picture 
at all. It used only a musical score recorded on 
discs to accompany the silent images, thus saving 
on the extra cost of hiring an orchestra. 

The breakthrough came in October 1927, when 
Warner Bros, launched the first commercially 
successful feature film with sound— The Jazz 
Singer— this time featuring lip-synch recordings 
of songs as well as some dialogue. The success of 
this movie gave impetus to the installation of sound 
recording and projection equipment in studios 
and movie theaters. 

In May 1928, after a thorough examination of the 
different sound techniques, almost all the studios 
decided to adopt Western Electrics more flexible 
sound-on-film recording process, which meant the 
end of Warner's Vitaphone. By 1 929, thousands 
of movie theaters were equipped with sound and 
dozens of silent films had added dialogue sequences. 

During the filming of Stroheim's Queen Kelly 
(1928), starring Gloria Swanson, the producers 
(including Swanson herself and Joseph P. Kennedy, 
father of the future US president) called a halt. 
They claimed that, with a third of the film already 
shot without sound, it was impossible to reshoot it 
with sound, and therefore the film was redundant. 
In reality, however, it was because Swanson and 



SILENCE IS GOLDEN 21 



Kennedy came to consider the film's sado- 
masochistic subject matter too shocking. Queen 
Ke//y was hastily edited, given an arbitrary ending, 
and a music track was added. While Swanson's 
luminous career survived the arrival of sound, 
Queen Kelly, although released in Europe, never 
secured a commercial release in the US. Twenty- 
two years later, Swanson and Stroheim would 
come together again in Billy Wilder's Sunset 
Boulevard (1 950), about a forgotten star of silent 
films. In this movie, the sequences screened by 
Norma Desmond (Swanson) at her home are 
taken from Queen Kelly, and there are other 
allusions to Stroheim's unfinished and largely 
unseen masterpiece. 

MGM interfered with the editing and added 
a soundtrack to one of Victor Sjostrom's finest 
achievements in the US, The Wind (1 928). The film 
featured Lillian Gish— one of the greatest silent 
screen stars— giving the performance of her life. 

Some Hollywood directors were able to use the 
new technology creatively. Rouben Mamoulian, on 
his first film, Applause (1 929), used two microphones 
on certain scenes, later mixing the sound. 

The birth ofRKO 

Sound led to the creation of a new major studio, 
Radio-Keith-Orpheum or RKO, in 1928, whose 
trademark was a pylon on a globe transmitting 
radio signals. Sound also led to a new genre— the 
musical. MGM's The Broadway Melody (1929), which 
won the Academy Award for Best Film, opened the 
floodgates for other musicals, dozens of which 
appeared before the decade was out. 



The coming of sound was as seismic in other 
countries as in the US. In Great Britain, the success 
of American "talkies" resulted in a wild scramble 
for the new techniques. Other countries began to 
demand dialogue in their own languages, which 
led to the disintegration of the international film 
market— dominated by Hollywood for more than 
a decade. It split into as many markets as there 
were languages. 

Directors experimented with multilingual films. 
For example, E.A. Dupont's Atlantic (1929) was 
shot in English, French, and German, with three 
different casts —a very expensive solution. 

Sound affected not only film content and style, 
but the structure of the industry. Artistically, it 
immobilized the camera and froze the action 
in the studio. 

Most of the early talkies were commercially 
successful, but many were of poor quality — 
dialogue-dominated play adaptations, with stilted 
acting by inexperienced performers, and an 
unmoving camera or microphone. (Hollywood's 
shift to the talkies was wittily recreated in Singin' 
in the Rain, 1952, see p. 292.) Screenwriters had to 
place more emphasis on characters in their scripts, 
and title-card writers became redundant. Most 
entries were literal transcriptions of Broadway 
shows put on the screen. However, directors and 
studio technicians gradually learned how to mask 
camera noise, free the camera, and mobilize 
microphones and sound recording equipment. 
Technology became subservient to direction and 
not vice versa. Now there was no looking back: 
the talkies were here to stay. 



□ The Broadway 
Melody (1929), 
was the first "100% 
All-Talking, All- 
Singing, All-Dancing 
Motion Picture". 





22 



THE STORY OF FILM 




□ Garbo talks! The 

Swedish star made 
a smooth transition 
to sound in Anna 
Christie (1930). 



1930-1939 Film Comes of Age 

Besides changing the shape of the entire film industry, the coming of 
sound also affected the careers of many directors and actors. During 
the 1930s, many genres went from strength to strength, and a new 
generation of stars, including Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Joan 
Crawford, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable, transfixed viewers. 



Three of the four founders of United Artists— Douglas 
Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Mary Pickford— made 
unsuccessful attempts at the talkies. Griffith, one of 
the film world's most important figures, suddenly 
became one of its most old-fashioned. Fairbanks 
and Pickford, teaming up just once, in The Taming 
of the Shrew (1929), revealed their vocal deficiencies, 
and the film flopped. Only Chaplin survived into the 
sound era, ignoring spoken dialogue until The Great 
Dictator (1940). He sensed, rightly, that words would 
weaken the international appeal and effectiveness 
of much of his comedy. Thus in City Lights (1931), 
perhaps the peak of his career, he used only music 
and realistic sound effects. 




In the mid and late 1920s, Hungarian-born Vilma 
Banky had been one of Hollywood's most bankable 
stars, but now her Hungarian accent was deemed 
too thick. Norma Talmadge retired after Du Barry, 
Woman of Passion (1930), when critics reviled her 
Brooklyn accent— rather out of keeping with the 
18th-century costumes. John Gilbert is chiefly 
remembered as a casualty of sound. When dialogue 
was added to His Glorious Night (1 929), his high- 
pitched voice was ridiculed. Gilbert's attempts at 
a comeback failed, despite his efforts as Greta 
Garbo's leading man in Mamoulian's Queen Christina 
(1 933)— the sexual electricity was no longer there. 
Garbo's deep, accented voice was, however, instantly 
acceptable from the moment she spoke her first line 
in 4/7/73 Christie (1930). Similarly, Marlene Dietrich's 
celebrated husky contralto was heard in six baroque 
Hollywood dramas directed by Josef von Sternberg, 
who made her a star overnight in Germany's first 
film with dialogue, The Blue Angel (1930). 

Some directors really came into their own with the 
talkies: Frank Capra and Howard Hawks with their 
machine-gun dialogue; George Cukorwith his 
glossy, literate films at MGM; and Ernst Lubitsch, 
who demonstrated his sophistication and cynical 
wit in films such as Trouble in Paradise (1932) as 
well as in musicals starring Maurice Chevalier. 

□ The supreme dancing duo of Fred Astaire 
and Ginger Rogers performs in Top Hat (1935). 
This film is perhaps the most popular of their 
nine black-and-white musicals. 



1930-1939 

1930 



1931 



1932 



1933 



1934 



The daily trade paper 

The Hollywood Reporter 
debuts, later becoming 
an institution. 

The movie industry 

begins to dub in the 
dialogue of films exported 
to foreign markets. 



Fritz Lang's influential 

M appears, the first 
psychodrama about 
a serial killer. 



Four-year-old Shirley 
Temple is signed to 
Twentieth Century Fox. 



King Kong is released, 
featuring stop-motion 
special effects. 

The first drive-in 
movie theater opens 
in New Jersey. 



The Hays Code 

is established. 

Warner Bros, shuts 
down its German 
distribution office in 
protest against Nazism. 



FILM COMES OF AGE 23 



European films in the 1930s 

In France, Rene Clair and Jean Renoir made good 
use of sound. Ciair's first film with sound, Sous les 
Toits de Paris {Under the Roofs of Paris, 1 930) used 
songs and street noises, and minimum dialogue. 
Renoir's La Chienne [The Bitch, 1 931 ) made brilliant 
use of direct sound. The director also made two of 
the most important films of this rich period in French 
film— La Grande Illusion (1937) and La Regie duJeu 
(1939). In 1936, Henri Langlois, Georges Franju, 
and Jean Mitry founded Cinematheque Francaise. 
Its first task was to save old films from destruction. 

In 1935, supported by Mussolini, the famous studio 
Cinecitta was built on Rome's outskirts. However, the 
quality of the films— grandiose propaganda epics 
and "white telephone" films (unreal, glamorous 
tales)— was low. Until the Nazis came to power in 
Germany, films there showed an awareness of social 
and political trends, notably G.W. Pabst's Westfront 
1918 (1930) and Kameradschaft (1931), and Fritz 
Lang's M (1931). In the Soviet Union, socialist 
realism, an ideological interpretation of history told 
in a straightforward style, was becoming entrenched, 
and all artists had to toe the party line. 

In Great Britain, the outstanding figure in 
the industry at the time was Hungarian emigre 
Alexander Korda, who settled in England in 1 931 
and formed his own production company, London 
Films. His Denham Studios was built in an 
attempt to rival Hollywood. 

Boom and bust 

Meanwhile Hollywood, having recovered from the 
Wall Street Crash of 1 929, was reaching its apogee. 
First there was a "talkie boom" in the late 1920s, 
and the industry enjoyed its best year ever in 1 930, 
when theater admissions and studio profits reached 
record levels. Then, in 1931, the Great Depression 
caught up with the movie industry and profits fell 



drastically. The rapid rise of the double feature, with 
a cheaply made second or "B-movie," was a direct 
result of the Great Depression. To attract patrons in 
those troubled times, most of the theaters offered 
two features in each program, changing the 
programs two or three times a week. As a result, 
"Poverty Row" studios, such as Monogram and 
Republic, could specialize in B-movies, usually 
Westerns or action adventures. 

Major Hollywood studios 

In the 1930s, the greatest asset of Columbia 
Pictures, which grew from a Poverty Row company 
into a major contender under the dictatorial Harry 
Cohn (1891-1958), was Frank Capra. The director 
made a succession of films that earned critical 
acclaim and secured Capra an unusual degree of 
independence. These included It Happened One 
Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and 
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). 



□ Jean Gabin 

gives a spellbinding 
performance of tragic 
stature in Daybreak 
[Le JourSe Leve, 
1939), Marcel Carne's 
masterpiece of 
"poetic realism." 



4«iiiiiMgt|it 



□ James Whale's 
Frankenstein (1931) 
marked the beginning 
of Universal Pictures' 
horror movie output. 



1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 

















It Happened One Night 

(1934) becomes the 
first film to sweep the 
Oscars, winning five 
major awards— a feat 
unrepeated until 1975. 


Chaplin's Modern Times, 

a comment on the 
Depression, is released. 


The first US full-length 
animated feature, 

Disney's Snow White 
and the Seven Dwarfs, 
is released. 


African-American 
leaders challenge the 
Hays Office to make 
roles other than those 
of servants and menials 
available to blacks. 


Gone With the Wind 

premieres. 



24 THE STORY OF FILM 



□ Leo the lion poses 
for MGM's studio Logo, 
which is still in use 
today; on the circle 
framing Leo was the 
MGM motto: "Ars Gratia 
Artis"— art for art's sake. 



□ Tarzan the Ape Man 

(1932) introduced 
Johnny Weissmuller, 
the most successful 
Tarzan of them all. 
Jane was played by 
Maureen O'Sullivan. 





Universal Pictures, which started the decade with 
Lewis Milestone's celebrated anti-war film All Quiet 
on the Western Front (1 930), established itself as 
the horror movie studio by producing all the early 
classics of the genre. These included Frankenstein 
(1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)— both 
directed by James Whale— with Boris Karloff as the 
monster. The studio also produced Tod Browning's 
Dracula (1931), starring Hungarian-born Bela 
Lugosi in the role that typecast him for the rest of 
his career. In the mid-1930s, wholesome teenage 
soprano Deanna Durbin almost single-handedly 
rescued the studio from bankruptcy with ten 
light-hearted, economical musicals, all produced 
by Hungarian-born Joe Pasternak, the most 
successful purveyor of popular classics in movies. 

RKO produced nine chic Fred Astaire-Ginger 
Rogers musicals, from Flying Down to Rio (1933) 
to The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), and 
Katharine Hepburn's earlier films, including Howard 
Hawks' Bringing Up Baby (1 938). The groundbreaking 
King Kong (1 933) was also a monster hit for RKO. 

Twentieth Century Fox was a latecomer among 
the major Hollywood studios. It was formed in 1935 
by a merger of Twentieth Century Pictures and 
Fox Film Corporation. The company's impressive 
logo— searchlights on sky-scraping letters spelling 
out its name— became synonymous with big-feature 
entertainment, but the company only really started 
to make its mark at the beginning of the 1940s. 

Warner Bros, became associated with gangster 
pictures that often starred James Cagney, Edward 
G. Robinson, and George Raft. Also on their roster 
were Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol 
Flynn, who was at his swashbuckling best in 
Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light 
Brigade (1936), and The Adventures of Robin Hood 



(1938), all directed by Hungarian-born Michael 
Curtiz. Another European emigre at Warner was 
German-born William Dieterle, who directed two 
successful "biopics" (see p. 86), on Louis Pasteur 
and Emile Zola— both starring Paul Muni. 

Warner Bros, musicals were grittier than those 
of other studios, but they also contained the most 
fantastic cinematic numbers ever committed to film. 
The studio's dance director, Busby Berkeley, became 
known for his use of kaleidoscopic camera tricks 
between 1 933 and 1 937, while working at Warner. 

If Warner Bros, was considered working-class, 
then MGM could be deemed middle-class. Driven by 
Louis B. Mayer and, until his premature death, "Boy 
Wonder" Irving Thalberg, MGM operated on a lavish 
budget making "beautiful pictures for beautiful 
people." The studio had Garbo, Jean Harlow, Norma 
Shearer (Thalberg 's wife), Joan Crawford, Clark 
Gable, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, and Myrna Loy. 
Powell and Loy were very popular as the husband- 
wife detective team in the "Thin Man" series. Olympic 
swimmer Johnny Weissmuller made his debut for 
MGM as the vine-swinging hero in Tarzan the Ape 
Man (1 932), which led to a string of sequels. 

MGM devised the formula of providing idealistic 
folksy films of Americana, and glamorous and 
prestigious romantic screen classics, such as 
George Cukor's David Copperfield (1935). Other hits 
for the studio included The Great Ziegfeld (1936), the 
longest Hollywood talkie released up to that time— 
at 2 hours, 59 minutes— and Boys Town (1938), which 
won Spencer Tracy consecutive Best Actor Oscars. 

w 

BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1930s 



1 Gone With the Wind 

(Victor Fleming, US, 1939) 

2 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
(David Hand, US, 1937) 

3 The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, US, 1939) 

4 Frankenstein (James Whale, US, 1931) 

5 King Kong (Merian Cooper and Ernest 
Schoedsack, US, 1933) 

6 San Francisco (Woody Van Dyke, US, 1936) 
7= Hell's Angels (Howard Hughes, US, 1930) 

= Lost Horizon (Frank Capra, US, 1937) 

= Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 

(Frank Capra, US, 1939) 

8 Maytime (Robert Z. Leonard, US, 1937) 



Paramount, in sharp contrast to MGM's middle- 
class values, had aristocratic pretensions. Run by 
Adolph Zukor, it had Lubitsch's elegance, Sternberg's 
exoticism, and DeMille's extravagance. Players under 
contract to Paramount included Dietrich, Gary 
Cooper, Claudette Colbert, the Marx Brothers 
(until 1 933), W.C. Fields, and Mae West, whose 
saucy humor was partly responsible for the 
creation of the Legion of Decency in 1934. 

Seal of approval 

In September 1931, the Production Code was 
tightened and the submission of scripts to the 
Hays Office was made compulsory. By 1934, with 
the cooperation of the largely Catholic Legion of 
Decency, members pledged to condemn "all motion 
pictures except those that did not offend decency 
and Christian morality." The Production Code 
Administration (PCA) was set up to give a Seal of 
Approval on every film; most studios agreed not to 
release a film without this certificate. As a result, 
a number of films were withheld from release, and 
drastic reconstruction undertaken. The conversion 
of Mae West's It Ain't No Sin into the innocuous Belle 
of the Nineties (1934) was the most prominent. The 
Production Code even found the cartoon character 
Betty Boop immoral and demanded that her 
sexiness be hidden. Among the proscriptions were: 
profanity, nudity, sexual perversion, miscegenation, 
and scenes of childbirth. The Code also suggested 
that respect must be given to the flag; no sympathy 
for criminals must be shown; and a man and 



woman, even if married, could not be seen in 
bed together. The Code thus amounted to a form 
of censorship, but although it inhibited some 
filmmakers, it did help to ensure a steady flow 
of high-quality family entertainment. 

The films of 1 939— a golden year for Hollywood- 
included Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of 
Oz, John Ford's mo Id- breaking Western Stagecoach, 
Dark Victory, with Bette Davis, Goodbye Mr. Chips, 
starring Robert Donat (who won the Best Actor 
Oscar for this film), Lewis Milestone's Of Mice and 
Men, Lubitsch's Ninotchka, and Gone With the 
Wind. We will not see its like again. 



Jglorious technicolor 

By the 1930s, Technicolor had become such 
a successful cinematography process that it 
was often used as the generic name for any 
color film. Walt Disney (1901-66) enjoyed the 
exclusive rights to make animated films in color 
from 1932-35, producing Oscar-winning shorts, 
such as Flowers and Trees (1932) and The Three 
Little Pigs (1933). By the mid-1 930s, color was no 
longer a novelty, but was being used for about 20 
percent of Hollywood's output. Technicolor 
reached its zenith at the end of the decade with 
two MGM movies— The Wizard of Oz and Gone 
With the Wind— both credited to Victor Fleming. 

□ Technicolor cameras, seen here 
with film rolls on top, were mainly 
used in studios. 




26 



THE STORY OF FILM 



1940-1949 Film Goes to War 

The outbreak of World War II in Europe finally brought the economic 
problems of the 1930s to an end in the US. There was a return to full 
employment, which led to a boom in film attendance. During the post- 
war years, however, the studios were troubled by union problems and 
strikes, followed by the notorious anti-Communist "Hollywood witch hunt." 




William Wyler's 
Mrs. Miniver (1942) 
shows how an upper 
middle-class English 
family bore up bravely 
during World War II. 



In October 1940, the New York Herald Tribune wrote, 
"The incomparable Charles Chaplin is back on the 
screen in an extraordinary film. The Great Dictator 
is a savage comic commentary on a world gone 
mad. It has a solid fabric of irresistible humor 
and also blazes with indignation." Chaplin's first 
talkie, a thinly disguised satire on Nazi Germany, 
earned more money than any of his other pictures. 
However, he, and the world, had much to be 
indignant about. 

Film fights Fascism 

Although the US remained neutral in the war 
until the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan 
on December 7, 1 941 , Hollywood seemed to 

be on pre-war alert, with several related 
films made before the attack. Howard 
Hawks' Sergeant York, starring Gary 
Cooper, although set in World War I, 
was an assault on isolationism. 
Other calls for the US to take up arms, 
which also extolled the virtues of 
democracy over the brutality of Fascist 
regimes, were William Wyler's Mrs. 
Miniver, Michael Curtiz's Casablanca, set 
in 1941 war-time Morocco, and Ernst Lubitsch's 
To Be or Not To Be (all 1942). Tragically, Carole 
Lombard, the star of the latter, did not live to 
see its release. In early 1942, while on a War 
Bond tour, she was killed in a plane crash. She 
was just 34 years old. 



All £L 

OGEON 



& 

IMVER 



The outbreak of war in Europe threatened to 
devastate Hollywood's vital overseas trade. The 
studios' exports to the Axis nations— principally 
Germany, Italy, and Japan— had declined to almost 
nil in 1937-38, but Hollywood still derived about 
one-third of its total revenue from overseas 
markets, the United Kingdom in particular. By 
late 1940, Britain stood alone as Hollywood's 
significant remaining overseas market. 

In Britain, more than half the studio space was 
taken up by the making of propaganda films for the 
government. Many were of real merit, like London 
Can Take It! (1 940), The Foreman Went to France 
(1 942), and The First of the Few (1 942). The movement 
also produced Humphrey Jennings, a poet of the 
documentary, whose best work, Listen to Britain 
(1942) and Fires Were Started (1943), summed up 
the spirit of Britain at war. Laurence Olivier's Henry V 
(1944), the making and release of which coincided 
with Britain's invasion of occupied France, used 
the patriotic fervor of the Shakespeare play to 
good effect. Weekly attendance by wartime British 
audiences tripled between 1939 and 1945. 

The film industry in France fell under Nazi 
control in 1940 and all English-language films 
were banned. Rene Clair and Jean Renoir left for 
Hollywood. To avoid censorship, directors chose 
non-political subjects, although Marcel Carne's 
Les Visiteurs du Soir [The Devil's Envoys, 1 942) 
was regarded by the French as an allegory of 
their situation, with the Devil (played with relish 



1940-1949 

1940 



1941 



1942 



1944 











Alfred Hitchcock's first 
American film, Rebecca, 

is released. It goes on to 
win the Best Picture Oscar. 


Bette Davis becomes the 
first female president of the 
Motion Picture Academy of 
Arts and Sciences. 

John Huston's The Maltese 
Falcon is the first of the 
classic film noir. 


Paul Robeson leaves the 
industry because of the lack of 
quality roles for black actors. 


The first TV ad for 

a film is broadcast 
by Paramount. 



FILM GOES TO WAR 27 




I^BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1940s 



1 Bambi (David Hand, US, 1942) 



2 


Pinocchio (Hamilton Luske and Ben Sharpsteen, 




US, 1940) 


3 


Fantasia 111 directors, US, 1940) 


U 


Song offhe South (Harve Foster and Wilfred 




Jackson, US, 1946) 


5 


Mom and Dad (William Beaudine, US, 1945) 


6 


Samson and Delilah (Cecil B. DeMille, US, 1949) 


7 


The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 




US, 1946) 


8 


The Bells of St. Mary's (Leo MacCarey, US, 1945) 


9 


Di7e//7)f/)eSi7n(KingVidor, US, 1946) 



10 This is the Army (Michael Curtiz, US, 1943) 



by Jules Berry) seen as Hitler. Henri-Georges 
Clouzot's Le Corbeau [The Raven, 1943), made by 
a German-run company, was temporarily banned 
after Liberation. 

Other films were more overtly pro-Axis. Jean 
Delannoy's L'Eternet Retour [Love Eternal, 1 943), 
with a screenplay by Jean Cocteau, was an update 
of the Tristan and Isolde legend featuring Aryan 
lovers, which was pleasing to the Occupiers. In all, 
Germany made 1 ,1 00 feature films under the Nazi 
regime, many of them harmless entertainment, 
with anti-Semitic propaganda films among the 
dross. Emil Jannings, who had returned to Germany 
from Hollywood to co-star with Marlene Dietrich 
in The Blue Angel (1930), and remained there, was 
appointed head of the country's biggest studio, 
UFA, in 1940. In the following year, he played the 
title role of Ohm Kruger, an anti-British film set 
in the time of the Boer War. However, because 
of his cooperation with the Nazi Ministry of 
Propaganda, he was blacklisted by the Allies, 
and spent his last years in retirement in Austria. 



Studio fare 

Back in Hollywood, to meet the increased 
demand for top features, studios either turned 
to independent producers, whose ranks grew 
rapidly in the 1 940s, or granted their own contract 
talent greater freedom over their productions. 
At Paramount, Cecil B. DeMille was given the 
status of "in-house independent" producer, which 
got him a profit participation deal on his pictures. 

The growing power of independent filmmakers 
and top contract talent in the early 1940s was 
reinforced by the rise of the talent guilds. The Screen 
Writers Guild, the Screen Directors Guild, and the 
Screen Actors Guild provided a serious challenge 
to studio control, particularly in terms of the 
artists' authority over their work. Moreover, 
top contract talent was going freelance, further 
undermining the established contract system, 
which was a crucial factor in studio hegemony. 



□ Humphrey Jennings 

showed the National 
Fire Service at work 
during the London 
Blitz in his beautifully 
photographed 
documentary Fires 
Were Started (1943). 



1945 1946 1947 1949 















Open City, Roberto 
Rossellini's Italian realist 
masterpiece, is released. 

Restrictions on the 

allocation of raw film 
stock are lifted with the 
end of World War II. 


The Cannes Film Festival 

debuts on the French Riviera. 

The Jolson Story, a 

popular biopic of Al 
Jolson, is released. 


As a result of HUAC 
investigations, the 

"Hollywood Ten" are 
jailed for refusing to 
cooperate. 


The US Supreme Court rules 
that Hollywood-based studios 
must end monopolization of US 
moviemaking, heralding the 
end of the studio system. 



28 THE STORY OF FILM 




E3 In Jacques 
Tourneur's Cat People 

(1 94-2), Simone Simon 
plays a feline heroine 
afraid that an ancient 
curse would turn her 
into a panther when 
sexually aroused. 



The Saturday 
morning matinee was 

a staple of children's 
film-going from the 
1940s to the 1960s. 
The program was 
mostly cartoons, serials, 
and B-westerns. 



Despite the success of Walt Disney's Fantasia and 
Alfred Hitchcock's first American film, Rebecca (both 
1940), RKO was in serious financial difficulties. 
Its distribution was adversely affected when 
Walt Disney, David 0. Selznick (who had brought 
Hitchcock to Hollywood), and Samuel Goldwyn set 
up their own releasing companies. Looking for a 
quick return, RKO took a chance on the 26-year-old 
Orson Welles with Citizen Kane (1941), but though it 
brought them prestige, it didn't bring in funds. They 
had more success with Val Lewton, who produced a 
series of subtle, low-budget psychological thrillers, 
such as Jacques Tourneur's Cat People (1 942). 



Hollywood's war effort 

Ironically, the war years were a comparatively 
good time for Hollywood. With the US suddenly 
engaged in a global war, Hollywood's social, 
economic, and industrial fortunes changed 
virtually overnight. The government now saw "the 
national cinema" as an ideal source of diversion, 
information, morale boosting, and propaganda for 
citizens and soldiers alike. Within a year of Pearl 
Harbor, nearly one-third of Hollywood's feature 
films were war-related. The studios reasserted 
their hold over the industry and enjoyed record 
revenues, while playing a vital role in the war effort. 

The American film industry was extremely 
prolific, affluent, powerful, and productive during 
the 1940s. While European film production suffered 
because of the impact of hostilities, Hollywood film 
production reached its peak during the years 1943 
to 1946, with movie theater attendance at pre- 
Depression levels. The Big Five studios— RKO, 
Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, and MGM— radically 
reduced their output from an average of 50 films 
a year to 30, concentrating on bigger movies that 
played longer runs. 

Motion pictures offered the masses an easy, 
inexpensive, and accessible means of escape 
from long working hours, austerity, and the 
horrifying news from abroad. Westerns, Technicolor 
musicals, and sophisticated comedies were the 
perfect tranquilizers. To make films more topical, 
established genres, such as the gangster movie 
and the thriller, often substituted a Nazi or a Fifth 
Columnist for the traditional underworld baddie. 
But wartime audiences also wanted to be uplifted 
by the movies, and dramas, such as Casablanca 
(1942) and Mrs. Miniver (1942), were very popular. 

A woman's place 

America's entry into the war in 1942 meant big 
changes in the position of women in society. 
Traditional models to represent male-female 
relationships came into increasing conflict with 
the realities of the world, where women were 
doing men's jobs and looking after the home 
alone, while the men were away fighting. Many 
of the films of the time reflected this, with 
forceful female stars, such as Barbara Stanwyck, 
Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford, in powerful 
melodramas, including Now, Voyager (1942) 
and Mildred Pierce (1945). 



THE CINEMA GOES TO WAR 29 



I 



ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS 



Big-name stars who enlisted in the US Army included 
James Stewart and Clark Gable. Others performed for the 
forces at military bases, or contributed to the war effort in 
other ways. Some of Hollywood's best directors— John Ford, 
Frank Capra, John Huston, and William Wyler— made 
war-related documentaries or training films. The US 
Government's Office of War Information (OWI), formed in 1 942, 
served as an important propaganda agency during World War II 
and coordinated its efforts with those of the film industry. 

□ Marlene Dietrich became less mysterious when she 
helped the Allied cause by entertaining US troops. 




Shooting stars 

Despite losing Gable and others to the armed 
services, and 36-year-old Garbo to permanent 
retirement from the screen in 1 941 , MGM could still 
boast of "more stars than there are in the heavens." 
Throughout the 1940s, songwriter Arthur Freed 
(1894-1973) headed MGM's top musical production 
unit, making the studio synonymous with the best 
screen musicals. Among the talents Freed gathered 
were artists Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, 
Judy Garland, and June Allyson; directors Vincente 
Minnelli, Stanley Donen, George Sidney, and 
Charles Walters; and lyricists Betty Comden, 
Adolph Green, and Alan Jay Lerner. Freed also 
signed Lena Home, the first African-American 
woman to have a long-term contract with a major 
studio. Home negotiated a clause that prevented 
her from playing domestics, jungle natives, or other 
racial stereotypes. However, she was used as a 
specialty performer so that her numbers could 
be edited out for theaters in the Southern states. 

Columbia was fortunate in having flame-haired 
screen goddess Rita Hayworth under contract. 
Charles Vidor, the Hungarian-born director, 
brought out the best in her in Cover Girl (1944) 
and Gilda (1946). In the latter, she "sang" (dubbed 
by Anita Ellis) Put the Blame on Mame, peeling off 
her long gloves, as Glenn Ford— and millions of 
hot-blooded men— lusted after her. 

The biggest wartime star at Twentieth Century 
Fox was leggy blonde Betty Grable, a favorite forces 
pin-up, who appeared in several highly Technicolored 
musicals. However, when studio head Darryl F. 
Zanuck returned after his war service, he made 
Fox's output more serious-minded. 




□ Rita Hayworth 

in Charles Vidor's 
Gilda (1946), the 
role with which she 
was most identified, 
epitomized 1940s 
Hollywood glamor. 



30 THE STORY OF FILM 



□ John Mills (right) 
plays Pip and Alec 
Guinness plays Herbert 
Pocket in David Lean's 
Great Expectations 
(1946), perhaps the 
finest of all Dickens 
screen adaptations, 
and part of the Denham 
Studios stable. 



Post-war boom 

In 1940s Great Britain, the average annual movie 
theater attendance reached 1.5 billion. In 1947, 
the new Labour Government imposed a 75 percent 
tax on foreign film imports; the US responded 
by placing an embargo on the export of films to 
Britain. The sudden shortage of American films was 
a challenge to the British film industry. When an 
agreement was signed with the Motion Picture 
Association of America (MPAA) in 1948, a flood of 
Hollywood films hit the market and, at the same 
time, Americans had to spend 75 percent of their 
British earnings to make American films in British 
studios. In the late 1940s, the Rank Organization 
owned the two largest studios in Britain— Denham 
and Pinewood— and several smaller ones. 

The end of World War II brought rapid changes 
in the industry, particularly with the application 
of the anti-trust legislation that signaled the 
end of the old Hollywood. Forced by law to divest 
themselves of financial control of the theaters, 
the major studios lost guaranteed outlets for their 
products just as audiences started to decline in 
numbers. France reinforced the quota system on 
American films. It also initiated co-productions 
between itself and Italy, which helped to finance 
independent production. 



The most important aesthetic change that 
took place in films at the time was Italian 
neorealism. This term was first applied to 
Luchino Visconti's Ossessione (1943), shown 
only clandestinely at the time, but which had 
a profound influence on other young directors 
in Italy, such as Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio 
De Sica, and even directors in other countries. 

Split into two countries, East and West 
Germany had two separate film industries. A 
certain number of directors who worked during 
the Nazi era, such as Leni Riefenstahl, were 
blacklisted. In East Germany, Russian films 
dominated the movie theaters, while in the 
West, mostly American films were shown, with 
the aim, it was stated, of aiding de-Nazification. 
Similarly, Japan was flooded with American 
films that were supposed to show the people 
a modern democratic society. 

Challenging authority 

The release of the Billy the Kid Western, The Outlaw, 
by the maverick millionaire Howard Hughes, caused 
a huge censorship uproar. The film was completed 
in 1 941 , but not given a general release until 1 946, 
having been withdrawn after a limited release in 
1943. The delay came about when producer Hughes 



1 




FILM GOES TO WAR 31 



■■ Are you now or have you ever been a 

member of the Communist Party? 



HUAC, 1947 




□ "How Would You Like To Tussle With Russell" 

was the slogan for The Outlaw (1943), dreamt up 
by the producer-director Howard Hughes, who 
discovered Jane Russell. 

challenged the legal authority of the Production 
Code when the film was refused a Seal of Approval 
for "glamorizing crime and immorality." However, 
it could have had more to do with Jane Russell's 
cantilevered bra, specially designed by Hughes. 

More realistic representations of sexual and 
psychological problems and psychopathic behavior 
could be found in the film noir genre, as well as 
movies such as Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement 
and Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire (both 1947), 
about anti-Semitism in the US. Kazan's Pinky and 
Clarence Brown's Intruder in the Dust (both 1949) 
dealt with racial prejudice, while Billy Wilder's 
The Lost Weekend (1945) explored alcoholism. 

This willingness to engage in serious 
confrontations with social problems and religious 
and racial bigotry emerged just as the House 
of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), 
spurred on by Senator Joseph McCarthy, began its 
investigations into alleged Communist infiltration 
of the motion picture industry. After declaring 
that Hollywood filmmakers "employed subtle 
techniques in pictures glorifying the Communist 
system," the HUAC held public hearings in October 
1947 to question "friendly" witnesses (friendly to 
the purposes of the committee), who included 
Adolphe Menjou, Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, 
and Gary Cooper. Ten so-called "unfriendly" 
witnesses were subpoenaed. The Hollywood Ten, 



as they became known, were imprisoned after 
they claimed that the Fifth Amendment of the US 
Constitution gave them the right to refuse to answer 
the question of whether or not they had been 
Communists. One of them, director Edward Dmytryk, 
later recanted. Eventually, more than 300 film 
artists and technicians were blacklisted, their 
contracts terminated and careers finished. Some 
worked under assumed names or went abroad. 
Others, including Larry Parks (who had risen to 
fame in The Jolson Story, 1946, a popular biopic), Lee 
J. Cobb, Budd Schulberg, and Elia Kazan, were so 
afraid of going to prison that they named people who 
had been members of left-wing groups. It was one 
of the shabbiest periods in the history of Hollywood, 
and sapped its creative spark into the 1950s. 

The mid-1940s also saw the emergence of Ealing 
Studios in Britain, formed by a team of directors, 
writers, and technicians who believed that the way 
to an international market was to capture and 
exploit the British spirit with all its oddities and 
humor. It could be described as a genuine 
indigenous school of filmmaking. 



□ Humphrey Bogart 

and his wife Lauren 
Bacall, leading a line 
of Hollywood artists, 
scriptwriters, and 
directors, march in 
protest against the 
McCarthy witch hunts. 




32 



THE STORY OF FILM 



1950-1959 Film Fights Back 

The 1950s gave film a rival — television. Throughout the decade, theater 
attendance dropped as people tuned in to the small black-and-white screens in 
their living rooms. The big Hollywood studios responded by developing a series 
of devices and new tricks to tempt audiences back in front of the silver screen. 




□ In From Here To 
Eternity (1953), the 
fact that the hitherto 
Ladylike Deborah Kerr 
played the adulterous 
army wife caught up 
in an affair with Burt 
Lancaster added to 
the frisson felt by 
audiences— especially 
evident during the 
celebrated erotic 
beach scene. 



In the early 1950s, the House of Un-American 
Activities Committee (HUAC) was at its peak, 
interrogating Americans about their Communist 
connections and distributing millions of pamphlets 
to the American public, with titles such as 
"One Hundred Things You Should Know About 
Communism." The second wave of HUAC hearings 
began in 1951, with Republican Senator Joseph 
McCarthy leading the charge. Over the next three 
years, McCarthy subpoenaed some of the most 
prominent entertainers of the era. However, in 
1954, with the help of Edward Murrow's unedited 
footage of the hearings (the subject of George 
Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, 2005), the 
public was able to see McCarthyism for what it 
really was— a witch hunt. 



While Senator McCarthy was seeing villainous Reds 
under every bed, film moguls saw the box in people's 
living rooms as the real enemy. Although film 
audience figures had already started to decline 
in 1 947, the main cause for the drastic reduction 
in film admissions was blamed on the television 
sets that were proliferating in homes across the 
US. In the first years of the 1 950s, 50 percent 
of US homes had at least one TV set, a number that 
was set to grow dramatically. As Samuel Goldwyn 
commented, "Why should people go out and pay 
money to see bad films when they can stay at 
home and see bad television for nothing?" 

Jack Warner stipulated that no TV set was 
to be seen in a Warner Bros, movie. Television, 
which was added to the list of taboos, was seldom 



1950-1959 

1950 



1951 



1952 



1953 



1954 



Gloria Swanson and 

other actors from 
the silent screen play 
aspects of themselves 
in Sunset Boulevard. 



HUAC opens a second 
round of hearings 
in Hollywood, and 
blacklists 212 people. 



MGM releases Singin' 
in the Rain. 

A Streetcar Named 
Desire is the first film to 
win three acting Oscars, 
forVivien Leigh, Karl 
Maiden, and Kim Hunter. 



The Academy Awards 

are televised for the 
first time. 

Single- or multi-film 
contracts replace 
seven-year contracts 
for actors. 



The Seven Samurai, 

Akira Kurosawa's 
influential epic, 
is released. 



FILM FIGHTS BACK 33 



mentioned in films except in a satirical context, as 
in the MGM musical It's Always Fair Weather (1955) 
and Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957)— a biting 
attack on the manipulation of the masses by TV. 

Ironically, the arch-enemy provided Hollywood 
with some of the best screenplays of the era, as 
well as the first generation of directors to come 
to the movies via the TV studio. These included 
John Frankenheimer, who made The Manchurian 
Candidate (1962), Sidney Lumet, Robert Mulligan 
(best known for To Kill A Mockingbird, 1962), and 

|at the drive-in 

Outdoor drive-in theaters, first introduced in 
the US in 1933, flourished in the 1950s. Patrons 
watched a film from their own cars, parked in 
a semi-circle around a giant screen. The sound 
was supplied by small speakers attached inside 
each car. Drive-in theaters attracted families 
with small children, avoiding the need for a 
babysitter, and young couples. With the latter 
in mind, many of the drive-ins showed "B" 
horror movies, dubbed "drive-in fodder." 




□ Some 4,000 drive-ins were constructed 
across America but their popularity started to 
decline in the 1 960s. Only a few still exist today, 
frequented by nostalgic audiences. 



Delbert Mann. Mann's Marty (1955), based on a 
Paddy Chayefsky teleplay about a lonely butcher 
from the Bronx (movie heavy Ernest Borgnine, cast 
against type, winning the Best Actor Oscar), was the 
"sleeper" of the decade. As a result, other intimate, 
realistic TV dramas, such as Lumet's 12 Angry Men 
(1 957), were successfully adapted for the big screen. 

A lion in your lap 

The existence of a financial competitor to Hollywood 
stimulated all sorts of movie innovations. One novelty 
that had mixed results was 3-D moviemaking. The 
first color feature-length Hollywood film made in 
Natural Vision (soon to be dubbed 3-D) was Bwana 
Devil (1952); the film's publicity slogan was "A Lion in 
your lap." Arch Oboler, who produced, directed, and 
wrote it, made a huge profit on his comparatively 
small investment due to the novelty value of the 
film's pioneering technique. However, these films, 
which could only be seen through cheap cardboard 
Polaroid spectacles, were still fairly crude, with 
images changing in quality and causing "ghosts" 
on the screen. Nevertheless, Hollywood began 



□ The 3-D experience 

was uncomfortable for 
those who already wore 
glasses; headaches 
were common; and the 
novelty soon wore thin. 




1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 

















James Dean is killed 
in a car accident. 

On the Waterfront wins 
eight Oscars. 

RKO sells its film library 
to television. 


Cecil B. DeMille 

remakes his own 
silent epic, The Ten 
Commandments. It 
is nominated for 
seven Oscars. 


The first kiss between 
a black man and a white 
woman (Harry Belafonte 
and Joan Fontaine) 
is featured in Island 
in the Sun. 


The horror film The Fly 

appears. 


Hitchcock's film North by 
Northwest is released. 



34 THE STORY OF FILM 





□ Film poster, 1953 



□ Carroll Baker plays 
the virgin bride in ELia 
Kazan s Baby Doll (1956), 
a film that scandalized 
puritan America 
because of provocative 
poses such as this. 



making about 30 3-D films a year, with audiences 
being subjected to all sorts of missiles hurtling 
toward them. Gradually, the glasses became 
an increasing annoyance and many good films 
produced in 3-D, such as MGM's Kiss Me Kate 

(1 953) and Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder 

(1954) , were released as ordinary "flat" films. 

Stretching the screen 

^ In 1952, a film was released showing how 
Vi a technology called Cinerama could make 
films more realistic by involving viewers' 
1 J peripheral vision. This is Cinerama informed 
its audiences that "you will be gazing at a 
movie screen— you'll find yourself swept 
right into the picture, surrounded by sight 
and sound." A series of short subjects followed, 
including scenes of a roller coaster, a bullfight, 
and Niagara Falls. 

The process had three 35mm projectors, 
three screens curved to cover 140 degrees, 
and stereophonic sound. However, theaters that 
showed films in this new way were required to 
employ three full-time projectionists and invest 
thousands of dollars in new equipment, and 
Cinerama's popularity was short-lived. 

Todd-AO was developed in the early 1950s to 
produce a widescreen image by photographing 
on 65mm and printing on a 70mm positive. The 
remaining space at the side of the print allowed 
room for six stereophonic soundtracks. The 




process was developed by the American Optical 
Company (hence AO) for showman Mike Todd. 
Todd-AO was successfully used for Oklahoma! 
(1955) and the star-studded Around the World in 
Eighty Days (1956). Todd married Elizabeth Taylor 
in 1 956, but their stormy marriage was cut short 
when he was killed in a plane crash. 

In 1953, Twentieth Century Fox unveiled 
CinemaScope, a process that used an anamorphic 
(distortable) lens to expand the size of the image. 
The Robe, a Biblical epic starring British actor 
Richard Burton, was the first CinemaScope feature. 
By the end of 1 953, every major studio except 
Paramount— whose rival VistaVision process 
had a 35mm film running horizontally instead of 
vertically— was making films in CinemaScope. 

The size of the screen dictated the content of 
the movies to a large extent, so that Knights 
of the Round Table (1953), Land of the Pharoahs 
(1955), and Helen of Troy (1955) filled the screens, 
if not the theaters. The need to cram every inch 
of the screen with spectacle was an expensive 
operation, and CinemaScope films seldom 
recouped their costs. Exceptions included Elia 
Kazan's East of Eden (1955), Nicholas Ray's Rebel 
without a Cause (1955), Vincente Minnelli's Lust 
for Life (1956), and Otto Preminger's River of 
No Return (1954). 

The movies mature 

There was a more interesting device for getting 
people to leave their TV sets for a movie theater: 
controversial and adult subjects deemed unsuitable 
by TV's sponsors for family viewing at home. So 
if someone wanted to hear the words "virgin" 
and "seduce," they would have to go out to the 
movies to see Preminger's The Moon is Blue (1 954), 
which was released without the Production Code's 
Seal of Approval. This film helped to create a 
permissiveness that wrested Hollywood from 
the puritan values that had gripped it for so long. 

Independent producers were also breaking 
the hold of the major studios and tackled more 
daring subjects, delving into areas that Hollywood 
had previously avoided. Movies such as Kazan's 
Baby Doll (1956) led to revisions of the Production 
Code, after which "mature" subjects such as 
prostitution, drug addiction, and miscegenation 
could be shown if "treated within the limits 
of good taste." 



FILM FIGHTS BACK 35 



Hollywood themes 

Despite the Communist witch hunts against the 
background of the Coid War, Hollywood continued 
to explore Liberal themes. Native Americans were, 
for the first time, sympathetically 
treated in films like Delmer 
Daves' Broken Arrow (1950) 
and Robert Aldrich's4pac/?e 

(1954) . Racial intolerance 
was examined in Joseph 
Mankiewicz's No Way Out (1950) 
and Stanley Kramer's The 
Defiant Ones (1958). Juvenile 
delinquency was explored in 
Richard Brooks' The Blackboard 
Jungle (1955), the first major 
Hollywood film to use rock'n'roll 
on its soundtrack. Preminger's 
The Man with the Golden Arm 

(1955) and Fred Zinnemann's A Hatful of Rain 
(1957) tackled the subject of drug addiction with a 
frankness hitherto unknown. With the Korean War 
over and wounds beginning to heal, Stanley Kubrick 
was able to make Paths of Glory (1957), one of the 
screen's most powerful anti-militarist statements. 

The steep decline in weekly theater attendance 
forced studios to find creative ways to make money 
from the new medium. Converted studios were 




Saul Bass created this classic 
poster for Otto Preminger's The Man 
With The Golden Arm (1955), in which 
Frank Sinatra played a professional 
gambler hooked on narcotics. 



beginning to produce more hours of film for TV than 
for feature films. Although their vast structure was 
weakened, the studios still had a certain identity 
and continued to turn out good films under their 
banners. At MGM, the artistic 
status of the musical was 
raised by Vincente Minnelli's 
An American in Paris (1 951 ) and 
Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen's 
Singin'inthe Rain (1952). 
Although Republic Pictures 
produced some of their best 
films in the 1950s— Nicholas 
Ray's Johnny Guitar (1954) and 
John Ford's Rio Grande (1950) 
and The Quiet Man (1 952) — it 
abandoned making films in 
1958. RKO, which businessman 
Howard Hughes had bought in 
1 948 for $9 million, later paying a further $23 million 
for ownership of the subsidiaries, ceased production 
in 1953. In 1957, it was sold to Desilu Productions, 
a TV company owned by Lucille Ball. 

Columbia recovered in the early 1950s, with the 
support of independent producers— David Lean 
[The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957), Elia Kazan 
[On the Waterfront, 1954), and Fred Zinnemann 
[From Here To Eternity, 1 953). The latter was notable 



Alec Guinness (left) 
is the stubborn English 
POW colonel in the 
seven Oscar-winning 
The Bridge on the River 
Kwai (1957). The bridge 
is in the background. 



THE STORY OF FILM 



for showing the usually ladylike Deborah Kerr in 
an adulterous affair with Burt Lancaster and reviving 
Frank Sinatra's flagging career. Lancaster and Kirk 
Douglas emerged as the most versatile stars of the 
1950s, gaining greater independence by going 
freelance and becoming producers. Other stars, such 
as Bette Davis, successfully reinvented themselves. 

Hip new stars 

With youth culture beginning to infiltrate the movies 
in the 1 950s, it was now possible for young people to 
identify with certain stars. Joan Crawford, a remnant 
of past glamor, was scathing about the "ordinary" 
characters in films that were becoming popular with 
young people. However, it was precisely because of 
theiryouth that audiences could imagine the new 
stars living next door, and that made them attractive. 

Marlon Brando projected an anti-conformist 
image, especially in The Wild One (1954), the film 
noted for a dialogue that typified his attitude. 
"What are you rebelling against?" Brando is 
asked. "Whaddaya got?" he replies. 

■ ■ I don't believe you want to go 
to the theater to see somebody 

you can see next door 

Joan Crawford, 1950 



BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1950s 



1 


Lady and the Tramp (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred 
Jackson, and Hamilton Luske, US, 1955) 


2 


Peter Pan (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred 
Jackson, and Hamilton Luske, US, 1953] 


3 


Cinderella (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred 
Jackson, and Hamilton Luske, US, 1950) 


U 


The Ten Commandments 

(Cecil B. DeMille, US, 1956) 


5 


Ben-Hur (William Wyler, US, 1959) 


6 


Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi, US, 1959) 


7 


Around the World in Eighty Days 
(Michael Anderson, US, 1956) 


8 


This is Cinerama (Merian C. Cooper, US, 1952) 


9 


South Pacific (Joshua Logan, US, 1958) 


10 The Robe (Henry Koster, US, 1 953] 



James Dean (1931-55), who starred in only three 
films— Rebel without a Cause (1955), East of Eden 
(1955), and Giant (1956)— was the personification 
of adolescent rebellion and despair. Dean died 
on September 20, 1 955 when the silver Porsche 
Spyder he was driving had a head-on collision 
with another vehicle. His death resulted in a level 
of hysteria among fans not seen since the untimely 
demise of Rudolph Valentino in 1926. 




□ In Laslo Benedek's The 
Wild One (1954), Marlon 
Brando's inarticulate biker 
character made him the idol 
of the erotic and anarchic 
motorcycle cult, and spawned 
a series of biker movies. 




FILM FIGHTS BACK 37 



Brando and Dean were able to attract a new type 
of youngster to film— those who preferred their 
heroes more non-conformist than the clean-cut, 
studio-bred idols of the 1930s and 1940s. 

The legacy of the 1950s 

Away from the new wave of anarchic performers, 
there were still a number of stars in the glamorous 
Hollywood tradition, such as Ava Gardner, Susan 




Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Rock 
Hudson, and Audrey Hepburn. Three names 
from an earlier era made sensational comebacks: 
Bette Davis played a fading actress in All About 
Eve (1950), Judy Garland played her greatest 
role in A Star is Born (1954), and Ingrid Bergman 
returned to Hollywood to win an Oscar for 
Anastasia (1956). However, the iconic images of 
Brando in leather, astride a motorcycle in The 
Wild One, the boyish blond features of rebellious 
James Dean, and the wide eyes of pin-up idol 
Marilyn Monroe, who did not live much beyond 
the end of the decade, remain the predominant 
US movie symbols of the 1950s. The ghosts of 
the decade are still there to haunt us. 

^"THE METHOD" 

"The Method" was advanced by a group of 
actors and directors at the Actors Studio in New 
York in 1 948. It was influenced by the teachings 
of the Russian stage director Konstantin 
Stanislavsky, who stressed a more instinctive 
approach to acting than had been popular 
until that time. Marlon Brando (1924-2004) 
typified this style. Many thought there was 
madness in "The Method" and it became the 
most caricatured of all acting styles with its 
mumbled delivery, shrugging of shoulders, 
fidgeting, and scratching. Humphrey Bogart 
commented, "I came out here with one shirt 
and everyone said I looked like a bum. Twenty 
years later Marlon Brando comes out with only 
a sweatshirt and the town drools over him. That 
shows how much Hollywood has progressed." 




□ A "Method" session takes place at the 
Actors Studio; founded by Elia Kazan and 
Cheryl Crawford, its most famous teacher 
was Lee Strasberg. 



''Mft'tiutfAKfi 



□ Film poster, 1954 




38 THE STORY OF FILM 



1960-1969 The New Wave 

Much was changing as the new decade dawned. The US had a dynamic 
new leader, John F. Kennedy, and in Europe, more liberated attitudes to sex, 
fashion, and politics filtered into books, art, and movies. In the film world, 
the first rumblings of change came about in France with the New Wave, 
whose influence reached as far as Hollywood. 




Shirley MacLaine 

and Jack Lemmon star 
in BiLLy WiLder's comedy 
The Apartment (1960), 
the Last black-and- 
white film to win the 
Best Picture Oscar, 
until Steven Spielberg's 
Schindler's List (1993). 



At the start of 1 960, the Writers Guild of America 
went on strike for more equitable contracts and a 
share of the profits of films sold to TV. The Screen 
Actors Guild of America demanded a raise in 
minimum salaries and a share in TV residuals. 
Both the writers and the actors won their cases- 
victories that helped to push Hollywood to the 
brink of economic disaster. 

Due to various insecurities and financial 
difficulties, the studios were quickly taken over 
by multinational companies. Paramount was 
rescued by Gulf + Western Industries; Warner 
Bros, merged with Seven Arts Ltd., a TV company, 
to become Warner Bros. -Seven Arts; MGM shifted 
its interests to real estate; and MCA (the Music 
Corporation of America) acquired Universal- 
International Studios. The Bank of America 



absorbed United Artists through its Transamerica 
Corporation subsidiary. Even without huge overheads 
and star salaries, this studio continued to attract 
many leading independent producers and directors, 
such as Stanley Kramer. He had his greatest 
ever success with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 
(1963)— a $1 0-miLLion earner. United Artists 
also had directors Billy Wilder [The Apartment, 
1960), Norman Jewison [In the Heat of the Night, 
1967), John Sturges {The Great Escape, 1963), 
and Blake Edwards. The latter, with The Pink 
Panther (1 963), initiated a slapstick comedy 
series starring Peter Sellers as the incompetent 
Inspector Clouseau. 



I 



BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1960s 



1 One Hundred and One Dalmatians 

(Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 
Wolfgang Reitherman, US, 1961) 

2 The Jungle Book (Wolfgang Reitherman, US, 1967) 

3 The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, US, 1965) 
t* Thunderball (Terence Young, UK, 1965) 

5 Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, US, 1 964) 

6 Doctor Zhivago (David Lean, US, 1965) 

7 You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, UK, 1967) 

8 The Graduate (Mike Nichols, US, 1967) 

9 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 
(George Roy Hill, US, 1969) 

10 MaryPoppins (Robert Stevenson, US, 1964) 



1960-1969 

I960 



1961 



1962 



1963 



Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho 

terrifies audiences for the 
first time. 



West Side Story receives 
1 1 Oscar nominations, 
eventually winning all 
but one. 



Marilyn Monroe is found 
dead of a drug overdose at 
her home in Los Angeles. 

The first James Bond film, 

Dr. No, is released. 



Sidney Poitier becomes 
the first black actor to win 
a Best Actor Oscar, for 
Lilies of the Field. 

The first video recorder 

is sold for $30,000. 




39 




□ Steve McQueen, here 
commandeering a Nazi 
soldier's motorcycle, 
contributed as much 
as anyone to the vast 
appeal of The Great 
Escape (1963). 



On the whole, while the studios became 
administrative centers organizing finance and 
distribution, they were losing their individual 
stamp. To fill the gap, independent producers 
became a more common feature of the movie- 
making process. They would come to the studio 
with a package consisting of director, script, 
writers, and marketable stars. 

Although the structure of the industry had 
changed drastically, most of the pictures still 
followed the genre pattern initiated by the 
studios in their heyday. There were musicals: 




Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins' West 
Side Story (1961), George Cukor's My 
Fair Lady (1964), and William Wyler's 
Funny Girl (1968), all derived from 
Broadway shows; Westerns, notably 
from veterans John Ford and Howard 
Hawks with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 
(1962) and El Dorado (1966), respectively, and 
newcomer Sam Peckinpah with Ride the High 
Country (1962), all of them valedictions to the Old 
West; and romantic comedies like the popular 
Doris Day-Rock Hudson cycle. 



□ The 1961 screen 
version of the landmark 
Broadway musical West 
Side Story features 
finger-snapping, high- 
kicking street gangs. 



1965 1966 1967 1968 















The Sound of Music surpasses 
Gone with the Wind as the 
number one box office hit 
of all time. 


Paramount is bought by 
multinational conglomerate 
Gulf + Western Industries. 

Revisions to the Hays 
Code allow some films 
to be recommended for 
"mature" audiences. 


Mike Nichols becomes the first 
director to be paid $1,000,000, 
for one film, The Graduate. 

Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde 

is released, with the tagline: 
"They're young. They're in love. 
They kill people." 


Stanley Kubrick's 
innovative 200 h A Space 
Odyssey is released. 



40 THE STORY OF FILM 



[ 



MULTIPLEX MOVIE THEATERS 



□ Richard Burton 

and Elizabeth Taylor 
caused a scandal with 
their highly publicized 
offscreen love affair 
during the making 
of Cleopatra (1962), 
since both were 
married to other 
people at that time. 



From the mid-1960s, the traditional picture 
palace with one auditorium was largely replaced 
by multiplex movie theaters. These comprised a 
single utilitarian building divided into a number 
of theaters and about six to eight screens (most of 
them smaller than the old auditoria). Ostensibly, 
this gave distributors a wider choice of outlets, 
and audiences a wider choice of films and 
times. In the 1990s, many multiplexes grew 
into megaplexes with 20 or more screens, 
some showing the same presentations. 



One of the Virgin Megaplex movie theaters 

in the UK boasts 20 screens and has the seating 
capacity for up to 5,000 people. 




The movie-going habit 

As movie-going was not as popular as it had once 
been, each film had to attract its own audience, and 
extravagant advertising campaigns accompanied 
the many million-dollar spectacles that pushed 
their way onto the screens, among them Anthony 
Mann's El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman 
Empire (1964); Nicholas Ray's King of Kings (1961) 
and 55 Days at Peking (1963); and George Stevens' 
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). All of them 
were shot in Spain or Italy, further diminishing 
Hollywood as a production center. Movies shot 
on location in Europe in the 1950s, such as Roman 
Holiday (1953), were considered novel and were, as 
a result, successful; these later features were not. 

Cleopatra (1962), shot on location in Rome, 
nearly bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox. Starring 
Elizabeth Taylor (already the highest-paid performer 
in the history of Hollywood at $1 million) as the 




Queen of Egypt, and her future husband Richard 
Burton as Marc Antony, it cost a record $44 million. 
Fox subsequently regained a fortune with Robert 
Wise's The Sound of Music (1965) but lost it all 
again with Richard Fleischer's Doctor Dolittle 
(1967) and Wise's Star! (1968). 

The concurrence of Fox's failure and the success 
of more youth-oriented movies proved to be a 
major turning point in Hollywood history. In the 
mid-1960s, Hollywood found itself with a new 
audience drawn mainly from the 1 6-24 age group. 
With different tastes from their elders, this younger 
generation expressed a growing aversion to 
traditional values. Hollywood needed to tap into 
this new audience and its adult tastes. Instead of 
paying huge amounts to respected and experienced 
directors like Robert Wise and Richard Fleischer, 
it suddenly seemed reasonable to take a risk on 
younger, more experimental directors. 

Sex and violence 

With the demise of the Production Code in the US, 
the limits of language, topics, and behavior were 
considerably widened, almost enough to satisfy 
young audiences' craving for sex and violence. 
Films started to depict violence in a more brutal 
and graphic manner, notably Robert Aldrich's The 
Dirty Dozen (1966), Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde 
(1967), and Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969). 

Although it made no reference to civil rights or 
Vietnam, Mike Nichols' The Graduate (1967) was 
taken as a symbol of the counterculture of the 



THE NEW WAVE " 41 



time. The title character of Benjamin Braddock 
(played by Dustin Hoffman) had a great appeal 
among middle-class college students, and the use 
of Simon & Garfunkel songs, such as Mrs. Robinson, 
instead of an orchestral music score, added to the 
film's attraction for young people. It also initiated 
the trend for pop-song soundtracks in the movies. 

It was only after Hoffman came along that the 
names and faces of movie stars reflected more 
accurately the diversity of ethnic groups in 
the US, opening up the floodgates for Barbra 
Streisand, Al Pacino, Elliott Gould, Robert De Niro, 
and Richard Dreyfuss. 

Roger Corman— who, since 1953, had been 
making "Z movies" (films on a tiny budget and in 
rented studios)— joined American International. 
The studio produced The Wild Angels (1966), a 



low-budget biker picture, and The Trip (1967), 
the title referring to a psychedelic LSD "trip." Both 
films starred Peter Fonda (son of Henry, brother 
of Jane, and father of Bridget), who produced, 
co-wrote, as well as featured in Easy Rider (1969). 
This inexpensive biker movie directed by Dennis 
Hopperwent on to earn around $35 million. 

Angry young men 

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there emerged in 
England a movement of playwrights, novelists, 
and filmmakers who were labeled "Angry Young 
Men." Much of their work dealt honestly and 
vigorously with working-class life, and as such, 
contained an overt criticism of the "never had it so 
good" philosophy of the Conservative government 
of the day. Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday 



□ Playing the title role 

of The Graduate (1967), 
Dustin Hoffman is on 
the verge of being 
seduced by his parents' 
friend, Mrs. Robinson 
(Anne Bancroft). The 
film's frank treatment 
of sex appealed to 
young audiences. 




42 THE STORY OF FILM 




1 <ou ii<Jb 



1 "'-Twrnv****** 



BThunderball (1965) 
was the fourth film in 
the James Bond series, 
starring Sean Connery 
as Bond. 



□ Sean Connery and 

Ursula Andress starred 
in Dr. No (1962), a 
successful Bond recipe 
of sex, violence, and 
camp humor. 



Morning (1960), Tony Richardson's A Taste of Honey 
(1 961 ) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance 
Runner (1962), and Lindsay Anderson's This 
Sporting Life (1963) contributed to the movement. 

In contrast to these grimy "kitchen sink" dramas, 
the "sparkle" of Swinging London was depicted in 
a series of films that showed trendy young people 
living it up in affluent surroundings. In fact, the 
phrase "Swinging London" was first used by New 
York TV columnist John Crosby, who had grown 
disenchanted with the US and come to the city in 
1964 looking for a job. In an article for the color 
supplement of The Daily Telegraph, he described 
London as being more "swinging" than New York. 
Curiously, it was a 1 963 adaptation of a classic 
18th-century novel, Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, 
directed by Tony Richardson and written by Look Back 
in Anger playwright John Osborne, that triggered 
the vogue for "Swinging London" films. These films 
reached their apotheosis with Italian Michelangelo 
Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966), in which the "Swinging 
London" society is seen through foreign eyes. 

Bond and Spaghetti 

The high cost of making films in Hollywood and the 
shrinking studio size forced many studios to reduce 
their internal production and increase movie- 
making elsewhere, mostly in Britain, where they 
could produce big-budget films on an economically 
advantageous production base. For example, there 
was the creation of the most durable series in 
the history of film— the string of 007 James Bond 
movies. The first, Dr. No (1962), was made 




for less than $1 million. The Bond films got 
progressively more expensive as they took more 
at the box office. Thunderball (1965) became the 
sixth-highest earning movie of the decade from 
any source, pulling in nearly $26 million. The 
Bond producers with the gold fingers were US 
agronomist Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and 
Canadian-born Harry Saltzman. They set up 
Eon productions in England, from where all 
the Bond features have since originated. 

It was three years before Sergio Leone's A Fistful 
of Dollars (1964), an Italian-made Western, was 
picked up for distribution in the US in 1967, 
although it had been a hit in Italy. It began a whole 
spate of Spaghetti Westerns, and made Clint 
Eastwood, after small parts in ten movies and 
seven years in TV's Rawhide series, an international 
superstar at 37. The plot was taken from Yojimbo 
(1961), directed by Akira Kurosawa. 

French New Wave 

Perhaps the main impetus for the change in the 
way films were made came with the New Wave in 
France. La Nouvelle Vague managed to revitalize 
French film when it was in danger of being totally 
ossified. Several young critics on the influential 
magazine Cahiers du Cinema decided to take 
practical action in their battle against the staid 
content of French productions by making films 
themselves. The leading figures of the group were 
Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, 
Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, 
and Louis Malle. 

These directors shunned conventional filming 
methods. They took to shooting in the streets with 
hand-held cameras and a very small team, using 
jump cuts, improvisation, deconstructed narratives, 
and quotes from literature and other films. The 
young directors, producers, and actors captured 
the life of early 1960s France— especially Paris - 
as it was lived by young people. 

Although these films were radically different 
from traditional film, and were aimed at a young, 
intellectual audience, many achieved critical and 
financial success, gaining a wide audience both 
in France and abroad. Their methods and subject 
matter were taken up by young directors abroad— 
especially in the UK and former Czechoslovakia— 
and eventually paved the way for the American 
indie movement. 





In 1960 alone, some 18 directors made their first 
features in France. At the same time, Italian film had 
its own new wave with Federico Fellini, Luchino 
Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni, 
and Bernardo Bertolucci. Winners at Cannes in 1960 
included Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960), Kon Ichikawa's 
Kagi (1959), Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960), Ingmar 
Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1959), and Luis 
Buhuel's The Young One (1 960)— aLL films that 
were not afraid to enter uncharted territory. 

However, toward the end of the decade the mood 
began to change. At the Cannes Film Festival in May 
1 968, as French workers went on strike and students 
in Paris were setting cars alight, digging up paving 
stones on the Left Bank, and confronting the riot 
police, French film's ruling body adopted a motion 
demanding that the festival be canceled as a sign of 
solidarity with the workers and students. "We refuse 
to be of service to a brutal capitalist society which 
we put in question," it stated. Protestors, led by 
Malle, Truffaut, and Godard, prevented the showing 
of Carlos Saura's Peppermint Frappe (1967). The 
jury resigned and the festival was aborted. Neither 
France nor its films would be the same again. 
After 1968, the experimental elements of the 



French New Wave were already starting to get 
assimilated into mainstream film. Many of its 
technical and conceptual advances were transformed 
into the cliches of filmmaking. Truffaut incorporated 
more traditional elements in his films, while 
Godard's films became increasingly political and 
radical. Chabrol continued to make genre thrillers 
of varying quality and Rohmer pursued his own 
obsession with the behavior of young people. 

Censorship 

In the same year, 1968, the Russian invasion 
of Prague interrupted one of the most creative 
periods of filmmaking that part of the world had 
ever known. Rigid censorship returned to Eastern 
Europe. In Poland, the purges that followed the 
student demonstrations in March 1968 hit film 
harder than any other art or industry. Every aspect 
of the film industry came under official attack. 

In Latin America, political repression intensified 
and the most famous of Brazil's Cinema Novo 
directors, Glauber Rocha, went into exile in 
protest. Meanwhile, in the US, the anti-Vietnam 
war movement was growing, but this was not 
addressed by Hollywood till almost ten years later. 



□ Sami Frey, Anna 
Karina, and Claude 
Brasseur, three petty 
crooks in Jean-Luc 
Godard's Bande a Part 
(1964), do a spontaneous 
synchronized dance 
in a cafe— a scene to 
which Quentin Tarantino 
paid homage in Pulp 
Fiction [m^. 



44 THE STORY OF FILM 




1970-1979 Independence Days 

An estimated 43.5 million Americans visited movie theaters each week in 
1960, compared with only 15 million a decade later. However, when there 
were pictures that the public really wanted to see — blockbusters like Star 
Wars and Jaws — attendance shot up, and profits soared again. 



Q Film poster, 1975 



□ Spectral pirates 

on a ghost ship get 
ready to terrorize 
a coastal town in 
John Carpenter's 
chiller, The Fog (1 980). 



1970-1979 

1970 



The result of this pattern was that certain films 
grossed a fortune, while many others barely 
recouped their costs. Escalating production 
expenses thus made filmmaking a risky business. 

But Hollywood, as ever, recovered well, managing 
to pour out a stream of pictures that, in terms of 
richness, variety, and intelligence, compared with 
the very best of the past. Francis Ford Coppola's 
success with The Godfather ( 1 972) was seminal. 
Following in his footsteps were Martin Scorsese, 
Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Michael Cimino, 
Brian De Palma, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader, 
John Milius, John Carpenter, and many others. 
These directors ushered in the New Hollywood. 

The movie brats 

Many of these "movie brats," as they were 
dubbed, were graduates from film schools, a 
new phenomenon. Born in the 1940s, they had 
grown up with film and had a passion for the films 
of classical Hollywood. They had also studied, and 




were influenced by, the masters of foreign 
film. For example, Lucas' Star Wars (1977) was 
influenced by Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress 
(1958). The resemblance between the two buffoon 
farmers in The Hidden Fortress and the two talkative 
droids C-3P0 and R2-D2 in Star Wars is apparent. 
Even the name Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi (played by 
Alec Guinness) is Japanese-sounding. Of course, 
such cinephilia had no effect on the film's immense 
popularity, and Star Wars succeeded in grossing 
more than $1 64 million in only two years in 
the US. The merchandising of this film was also 
hugely lucrative. Both Spielberg's Jaws (1975) and 
Lucas' Star Wars were the first films to earn 
more than $100 million in video rentals. 

It was Lucas' American Graffiti (1973) that 
spawned many "rites of passage" films. This 
dreamy, rock'n'roll-driven vision of adolescent 
life in a small Californian town in 1962, before the 
Vietnam War and the drug scene, cost $750,000 
and made $55 million at the box office. It helped 
boost the careers of Harrison Ford, Richard 
Dreyfuss, and Ron (cast as Ronny) Howard. 
The film's success convinced producer Garry 
Marshall to reconsider a failed pilot for a TV 
series eventually called Happy Days, featuring 
20-year-old Howard. Harrison Ford went on to 
establish himself as Han Solo in the Star Wars 
cycle. Dreyfuss' fame grew with two Spielberg 
blockbusters: as an ichthyologist somewhat 
out-acted by "Bruce," the shark machine in 
Jaws, and as the representative of ordinary 



1971 



1972 



1973 



1974 













CBS holds a 
demonstration of 
color video-recording 
in New York. 

The IMAX wide- 
screen format 

premieres in Japan. 


Melvin Van Peebles' 
Sweet Sweetback's 
Baadasssss Song 

kicks off the 
blaxploitation genre. 

The Beatles' last film 

Let It Be is released. 


Two years after Airport, 

the disaster movie trend 
continues with The 
Poseidon Adventure. 


Universal turns down 
George Lucas' idea 
for Star Wars— and 
Fox picks it up. 

The Exorcist, inspired by 
a true story about a girl 
possessed by a demon, 
shocks audiences. 


Roman Polanski's 
thriller Chinatown, 

starring Jack Nicholson, 
is a big hit. 



midwestern manhood chosen by Little green 
men to take off with them in their flying saucer 
in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1 977). 

Most of Spielberg's films were aimed primarily 
at teenagers, whereas the films of Woody Allen 
were directed at more mature audiences. Annie Halt 
(1977) won Allen both the Best Picture and Best 
Director Academy Awards. The film proved to be a 
breakthrough, capitalizing on the vogue of sexual 
anxiety and the tendency for self-examination. 

Angst and machismo 

If Allen represented New York Jewish angst, 
Scorsese explored the close-knit Italian-American 
community with its underlying rigid and sentimental 
codes of masculinity also evident in Coppola's 
The Godfather. As a result of these two Italian- 
American directors, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro 
became two of the key stars of the decade. Their 
acting style was derived from their "Method" 
predecessors like Marlon Brando, the younger 
version of whose character Don Corleone was 
played by De Niro in The Godfather II (1974). 
However, Brando proved he was still a force to 



be reckoned with in the 1970s, in Bertolucci's Last 
Tango in Paris (1972), and Coppola's The Godfather 
and Apocalypse Now (1979). The latter was one of 
a number of films on the Vietnam War. 

The vexing issue of Vietnam 

Hollywood had initially been reluctant to come 
to grips with the war, which had ended in 1975, 
probably because it was an issue that divided the 
nation. Commercially, therefore, the subject was 
bound to offend and alienate a large part of the 
potential audience. The filmmaking community 
split itself between hawks like John Wayne, whose 
The Green Berets (1968) had been contrary to the 
Zeitgeist, and doves such as Jane Fonda, who made 
her documentary Vietnam Journey (1974) on behalf 
of the anti-war movement. Hollywood could no 
longer turn a blind eye to the war in Vietnam as 
a major subject. In 1978, both Michael Cimino's 
The Deer Hunter and Hal Ash by 's Coming Home 
appeared. Each reveals the scars, both physical 
and mental, left behind by the war and the extent to 
which US soldiers' experiences there had entered 
the national consciousness. Coming Home was 



□ Close Encounters 
of the Third Kind (1977) 
was Steven Spielberg's 
first science fiction 
movie, a favorite 
genre of the director. 



1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 

















Jaws is released and 
becomes a worldwide 
phenomenon. 

Robert Altman's 

Nashville, a complex, 
epic study of US 
culture, appears. 


Dolby stereo is 

used in films. 


Close Encounters of the 
Third Kind is released. 

Star Wars grosses 
almost $200 million on 
its first release, and 
receives 10 Oscar 
nominations. 


Woody Allen's 1977 
film Annie Hall wins 
the Best Picture Oscar. 

Marlon Brando is paid 
more than $3 million, 
plus royalties, for a 
four-minute appearance 
in Superman. 


Miramax Films is set 

up by brothers Bob and 
Harvey Weinstein. 



46 THE STORY OF FILM 




□ Dustin Hoffman 

and Robert Redford 
play Washington Post 
investigative reporters 
in Alan J. Pa ku La's 
All the President's 
Men (1976). 





□ Warner Bros. 

withdrew A Clockwork 
Orange (1971), from 
UK distribution at 
Kubrick's request. 



instigated by its anti-Vietnam War star, Jane 
Fonda. The film teLLs of the Love affair between 
a voLunteer (Fonda) at a Vietnam veteran's hospital 
and an ex-soLdier confined to a wheeLchair by war 
injuries (Jon Voight). At the Oscar ceremony of 
that year, CoppoLa presented Cimino with the 
award for Best Director. The Deer Hunter aLso 
won Best Picture, whiLe Jon Voight and Jane 
Fonda won Academy Awards for Best Actor 
and Best Actress, respectiveLy, for Coming Home. 

At the same ceremony, there was a poignant 
moment when the Old HoLLywood made way 
for the New. John Wayne, who was fighting 
his Last battle with cancer, presented Cimino 
with the Best Film award. Wayne got the 
biggest cheer of the evening as, gaunt with 
illness, he tottered up the Academy staircase 
and said, "Oscar first came to the Hollywood 
scene in 1928. So did I. We're both a little 
weather-beaten but we're still here, and plan 
to be around a whole lot longer". Sadly, Wayne 
died a few months later. 

The Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal 
of 1974 fueled an American malaise, which was 
reflected in a spate of so-called "conspiracy" 
movies that explored the nation's dark underside. 
The best of these were Alan J. Pakula's The 
Parallax View (1 974) and All the President's Men 
(1976); and Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the 
Condor (1 975). All three films exposed government 
cover-ups. Coppola's The Conversation (1974) 
was a post-Watergate thriller about a professional 
eavesdropper (Gene Hackman) who finds himself 
being bugged. 



Violence on screen 

Vietnam was the first war to be consistently 
reported on television. It was one of the many 
reasons why violence in the movies would increase 
(race riots and campus unrest were two others). 
The moral ambiguity of Don Siegel's Dirty Harry 
(Clint Eastwood's first incarnation of the cold- 
blooded rogue cop Harry Callahan, 1971), John 
Boorman's Deliverance (1972), Scorsese's Taxi 
Driver (1976), and Tobe Hooper's The Texas 
Chainsaw Massacre (1974) worried many. Stanley 
Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), about 
"the adventures of a young man whose principal 
interests are rape, ultra-violence, and Beethoven," 
did nothing to set aside these concerns. 

The British Board of Film Classification passed 
the film with an X certificate, claiming that it was 
"an important social document of outstanding 
brilliance and quality." However, a group calling 
itself The Festival of Light found it "sickening 
and disgusting" and tried to stop it being shown. 
Eventually, however, a spate of copycat violence 
and threats against Kubrick's own family persuaded 
the director himself to request a UK ban. A 
Clockwork Orange was not seen again by British 
filmgoers for another 27 years, until Kubrick's 
sudden death in 1999. 

In 1968, the Motion Picture Producers and 
Distributors of America superseded the Production 
Code and incorporated a series of ratings for films. 
These included G for general audiences, M for 
mature audiences, R for ages 1 7 and over, and X 
for over-18s only. The rating system then received 



r 



BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1970s 

1 Star Wars (George Lucas, US, 1 977) 

2 Jaws (Steven Spielberg, US, 1975) 

3 Grease (Randal Kleiser, US, 1 978) 

4 Close Encounters of the Third Kind 
(Steven Spielberg, US, 1977) 

5 The Exorcist (William Friedkin, US, 1973) 

6 Superman (Richard Donner, US, 1978) 

7 Sa turday Nigh t Fever 
(John Badham, US, 1977) 

8 Jaws 2 (JeannotSzwarc, US, 1978) 

9 Moonraker (Lewis Gilbert, UK, 1 979) 

10 The Spy Who Loved Me 

(Lewis Gilbert, UK, 1977) 



INDEPENDENCE DAYS 



47 



minor revisions in 1970, 1972, 1984, and 1990. 
Although the dispute over A Clockwork Orange 
never reached the same pitch in the United States, 
in 1973, for its American release, Kubrick cut 
about 30 seconds of footage to win an R rating. 

Sex on screen 

The market for mainstream films showing sex 
scenes expanded in the 1970s. There was also 
a more outspoken approach to sex in films which 
came to the US from abroad: Last Tango in Paris 
(1972), with its explicit sex scenes; Just Jaeckin's 
Emmanuelle (1 974), in which bored bourgeois wife 
Sylvia Kristel explores all the possibilities of sex; 
Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo (1975), an update of a 
Marquis de Sade novel; and Nagisa Oshima's 
Ai No Corrida (1976), featuring a gangster and a 
geisha acting out their sexual fantasies. Pretty 
Baby (1 978), Louis Malle's first US film, featured 
a 12-year-old girl (Brooke Shields) being brought 
up in a turn-of-the-century New Orleans brothel. 
Public disquiet became vocal and there was again 
agitation for federal legislation on censorship. 
In Europe— Spain, Portugal, and the Communist 
countries— there was some relaxation on censorship. 
Many of the technical and conceptual advances of 
the French, Italian, Czech, British, and other New 
Waves soon got assimilated into mainstream film. 
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and 
Wim Wenders brought a brief NewWave to 
German film in the 1 970s. There were a few other 
individuals who made an impact, such as Andrei 
Tarkovsky and Sergei Parajanov in the former 
USSR and Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski 
in Poland, but Eastern European film gradually 
lost its way. Milos Forman had fled the former 
Czechoslovakia in 1968, but his US career really 
took off with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 
(1975). Based on a cult novel of the 1960s, it 
became the first film in 41 years (since It Happened 
One Night) to fly off with all five major Oscars, and 
raked in $56.5 million. 

Stallone and Travolta 

That sum was almost equaled by Rocky (1976), 
the archetypal rags-to-riches story of the decade. 
Producer Irwin Winkler recalled: "In comes this big 
lug who weighed 2201b, didn't talk well, and acted 
slightly punch drunk. He said he had an idea for a 
boxing script and wanted to star in it." The "lug" 



was Sylvester Stallone. It is by now Hollywood 
folklore how Stallone, with only $106 in his bank 
account and three bad movies to his debit, turned 
down a one-off payment of $265,000 and instead 
secured $70,000, a percentage of the profits, and 
the lead role. Rocky became a box-office hit and 
won Oscars for Best Picture (the first sports film 
to do so), and Best Director (John G. Avildsen). 

Another of the crop of Italian-Americans who 
made it big in the 1 970s was John Travolta, who gave 
male dancing the onscreen kiss of life in Saturday 
Night Fever (1977) at the height of the disco craze. 

One of the most significant developments of 
the decade was when Sony brought out the home 
video-cassette recorder in 1975; it cost around 
$2,000 and had a recording time of up to one 
hour. Its future impact on viewing habits could 
hardly be imagined at the time. 



□ In Saturday Night 
Fever (1977), Travolta 
showed the acrobatic 
exuberance of Gene 
Kelly, and a strut 
reminiscent of Fred 
Astaire— but his riveting 
dancing was all 
his own. 






48 THE STORY OF FILM 



1980-1989 The International Years 

In the 1980s, the Hollywood machine reasserted itself. The movie brats 
lost their way as the studios consolidated everything they had learned 
from the Star Wars phenomenon, marshalling the power of TV advertising 
to sell high-concept movie packages, pushing up the cost of marketing, 
and raising the stakes across the board. 



□ In Raging Bull (1980), 
Robert De Niro gained 
60Lb (27kg) to play 
boxer Jake LaMotta in 
middle age; his reward 
was one of the film's 
disappointing haul of 
just two Oscars. 




Martin Scorsese began the 1980s with Raging 
Bull (1980) and the 1990s with GoodFellas (1990). 
However, his high-caliber output was the exception— 
and even he talked about giving up the fight in the 
1980s. The "Hollywood Renaissance" of the 1970s 
proved to be a flash in the pan. The power enjoyed 
by the movie brats reached its apogee with the epic 
Western Heaven's Gate (1980), directed by Michael 



Cimino with such perfectionism that the budget 
rocketed 500 percent, to about $44 million. 
Although modest by today's standards, these 
figures were enough to bring United Artists to 
the brink of bankruptcy. Slow and anti-heroic, this 
was perhaps the most radical of all the revisionist 
Westerns but, when the film was previewed at a 
running time of 219 minutes, the American critics 
were merciless. The studio panicked, and Heaven's 
Gate was cut to U9 minutes— a desecration 
comparable to the treatment RKO had meted 
out to Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons 
(1942) four decades earlier. The shorter cut did 
nothing to salvage the film's commercial prospects. 
It grossed only $1 .5 million and United Artists' 
illustrious name became history. The studio was 
sold in 1 981 and merged with another fallen 
giant, MGM. 

Heaven's Gate effectively finished off the 
Western for at least a decade. (The next significant 
contributions to the genre would be TV's Lonesome 
Dove in 1989 and Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves 
in 1990.) More than that, it became a watchword for 
unchecked directorial megalomania— a widespread 
condition in the late 1970s and early 1980s (the 
subject of Peter Biskind's well-sourced history 
of the period, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls}. 

Francis Ford Coppola had gotten away with 
his vastly over-budget Apocalypse Now (1 979), 
but his bold dreams of a filmmakers' studio, 
Zoetrope, foundered on One from the Heart (1982), 



1980-1989 

1980 



1981 



1982 



1984 



Alfred Hitchcock, master of 
suspense, dies at the age of 80. 

Sherry Lansing becomes 
the first female president 
of a major studio (Twentieth 
Century Fox). 



Ronald Reagan becomes the 
first movie-star president. 

Katharine Hepburn wins her 
fourth Best Actress Oscar. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark 

marks Steven Spielberg's first 
collaboration with George Lucas. 



Ridley Scott's Blade 
Runner opens. 

Princess Grace of Monaco, 

formerly actress Grace Kelly 
[High Noon, Rear Window) 
dies in a car crash. 



The US Supreme Court rules 
that home videotaping does 
not violate copyright laws. 




an innovative but expensive exercise in digital film 
that didn't connect with critics or audiences. Its 
failure plunged him into debt and pulled the plug 
on a studio that, at one point, housed such eclectic 
talents as Jean-Luc Godard, Wim Wenders, Gene 
Kelly, Michael Powell, and Tom Waits. 

Such spectacular failures curtailed artistic 
ambition in American film. When a film of real 
daring did come along, Hollywood seemed bent on 
suppressing it. Sergio Leone's magnificent gangster 
opus, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), was 
hacked from 229 minutes to 139 for its US release, 
despite the fact that the film performed well in 
Europe. Universal sat on Terry Gilliam's Brazil 
(1 985) for a year, preparing their own edit, before 
the filmmaker shamed them into releasing his 
cut. The motto that RKO had adopted after ridding 




themselves of Orson Welles in the 1940s applied 
across the board in the 1980s: "Showmanship, 
not genius." 

If the balance of power shifted definitively 
away from the directors (and the big directors' 
vanity and self-indulgence didn't help their 
cause), the studios themselves were in a state 
of flux. Increasing competition from independent 
production companies like Cannon, DEG, Orion, and 
Tri-Star had, by 1 986, knocked the major studios' 
share of the US box office to a low of 64 percent. 

Increasingly, the real power fell to the talent 
agencies. The largest of these was Creative Artists 
Agency (CAA), which represented numerous A-list 
stars, writers, and directors. They began to pitch 
pre-packaged deals to the studios: scripts with 
their clients already attached. CAA president 



□ Sergio Leone's 
gangster epic, Once 
Upon a Time in America 
(1984), was a violent 
requiem for the 
immigrant's dream. It 
was Leone's last film. 



1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 

















The first Blockbuster 
video store opens in 
Dallas, Texas. 


Media mogul Ted Turner 

buys MGM's film library 
and begins "colorizing" 
its black-and-white films. 

Actor Rock Hudson dies of 
AIDS; the epidemic begins 
to be acknowledged. 


Disney does its first 
tie-in with McDonalds: 
a Happy Meals toy 
based on Duck Tales. 


Video sales of E.T.: 
The Extra-Terrestrial 
exceed 1 5 million. 

Martin Scorsese's 
The Last Temptation 
of Christ is released 
in spite of protests by 
some Christians. 


Warner Communications 

merges with Time, Inc. 
to become the biggest 
media company in 
the world. 



THE STORY OF FILM 




Michael Ovitz became the most feared and courted 
man in Hollywood, and star salaries rose steeply, 
pushing up the average cost of a movie even as 
admissions continued to flatline. For the agents, 
the deal was the be-all and end-all. 

It's not that there weren't box-office hits. Steven 
Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and 
E.T.: The Extra -Terrestrial (1982) consolidated his 
reputation as the man with the Midas touch. As 
the decade progressed, Hollywood channeled 
more and more of its resources into supporting 
blockbuster "event" movies, generally released 
on public holiday weekends, with saturation 
marketing campaigns. These, in turn, aggravated 
inflationary pressures across the business. 

The rewards were phenomenal, both in box office 
terms and ancillary merchandising deals. However, 
this model gave less room to the adult dramas that 
had always been Hollywood's mainstay. Teenagers 
became the prime audience— the 12-20 age group 
constituted 48 percent of audiences in 1980. 

Slasher horror movies and risque adolescent 
comedies were the new staples: Friday the 13th 
(1980) would spawn more than a dozen sequels 
stretching into the new millennium; Porky's 
(1982) would beget innumerable imitations. 
While established stars like Robert Redford 

□ In the 1980s, popcorn entertainment 
came back into style. Steven Spielberg's 
Indiana Jones films epitomized the return 
to mainstream blockbusters. 

BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1980s 



1 £ T. ; The Extra- Terrestrial 
(Steven Spielberg, US, 1982) 



2 Return of theJedi (Richard Marquand, US, 1983) 



3 The Empire Strikes Back 
(Irvin Kershner, US, 1980) 



4 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 

(Steven Spielberg, US, 1989) 

5 Rain Man (Barry Levinson, US, 1988) 



THE INTERNATIONAL YEARS 51 




□ Sylvestor Stallone's 
John Rambo went from 
underdog in First Blood 
(1982) to killing machine 
in the eponymous 
Rambo sequels. 




and Clint Eastwood continued to write their 
own ticket, the teen audience fostered its own 
stars. The "Brat Pack" included Molly Ringwald, 
Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, and 
Andrew McCarthy. Although some actors of the 
1980s, such as Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Matt 
Dillon, and John Cusack, have since enjoyed long 
film careers, others have not been so fortunate. 

Birth of the action hero 

Reports of video-savvy audiences ("tape-heads") 
shouting "Fast forward" at the screen may have been 
apocryphal, but it's arguably true that the 1 980s 
refined the movie with action sequences into a new 
genre: the action film. In 1982, it was still possible 
for Sylvester Stallone to star in a passably serious, 
if formulaic, thriller about a Vietnam war veteran 
failing to adapt to life back home [First Blood}; but 
three years later, by the time of Rambo: First Blood, 
Part II (1985), the character had been transformed 
into an invulnerable one-man army, and any vestiges 
of realism had been obliterated. By Rambo III (1 988), 
Stallone was battling the Soviets in Afghanistan— 
and earning $20 million for the picture. The same 
trajectory is obvious in Stallone's Rocky films. A 



credible underdog in the first movie, 
he became a pumped-up American champ in 
the later sequels, a warrior wrapped up in the 
patriotism of Ronald Reagan's presidency. 

Even then, another action star was poised 
to outgun Stallone. Former bodybuilder Arnold 
Schwarzenegger, probably the most iconic star 
of the era, had been hanging around Hollywood 
since the early 1970s. With his strong Austrian 
accent, negligible acting ability, and physique 
described by journalist Clive James as "like a 
walnut wearing a condom," he was an unlikely 
superstar. John Milius cast him as Conan the 
Barbarian (1982), and he then played a taciturn 
robot assassin in James Cameron's The Terminator 
(1984). Although the character was the villain— 
literally a killing machine— audiences adored 
the film, and Schwarzenegger was made. 

With the exception of Sigourney Weaver in Alien 
(1979) and Aliens (1986), women in action films 
of this era are usually relegated to supporting bit 
roles. These films are characterized by bombast 
and machismo— explosions, fusillades of bullets, 
fireballs, and car chases, all as destructive as 
demolition derbies. The genre was aimed mainly 



52 THE STORY OF FILM 



■ ■ You have twenty 

seconds to comply. 



Robocop, 1987 



□ Tom Cruise attracts 
Kelly McGillis in Top 
Gun (1986), a typical 
high-velocity movie 
from US uber- 
producers Jerry 
Bruckheimer and 
Don Simpson. 



at young men, and did well in the increasingly 
important overseas markets— not least because the 
films had very little meaningful dialogue. The best 
action films have an exhilarating cinematic dynamic: 
Paul Verhoeven's Robocop (1987), John McTiernan's 
Die Hard (1988), and James Cameron's Terminator 
films (1984 and 1991) are as accomplished as the 
1 920s' slapstick comedies or the 1 950s' musicals. 

Directors had always shot action sequences from 
multiple angles, and as action sequences became 
longer and more elaborate, this aesthetic infected 



Hollywood's visual language. Shot durations shrank 
and visual continuity was handled by design and 
back-lighting. The aesthetic was often attributed 
to the influence of MTV. Music television's non-stop 
diet of pop promos, with their rapid-fire backbeat 
montage, became popular with the spread of cable 
television in the early 1980s, and music promo 
directors sometimes graduated to feature films. 
More came from advertising, with their visual 
skills honed in 30-second segments. Britons 
Ridley and Tony Scott, Adrian Lyne, Hugh Hudson, 
and Alan Parker all came up through advertising. 
Between them, Tony Scott and Adrian Lyne 
directed Top Gun (1986), Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987), 
Flashdance (1983), 9 1 / 2 Weeks (1986), and Fatal 
Attraction (1 987)— some of the biggest hits of the 
decade. These were quintessential "high concept" 
movies— films that could be pitched and sold in 
30 words or less. 




THE INTERNATIONAL YEARS I 53 



THE VIDEO REVOLUTION 



In 1982, MPAA industry spokesman Jack Valenti 
said, "the VCR is to the American film producer 
and the American public as the Boston strangler 
is to the woman home alone." However, his 
concerns about copyright infringement devastating 
Hollywood were misplaced. VHS defeated Betamax 
in the videotape wars, largely because it courted 
Hollywood. And the video rental market proved 
to be manna for film producers. Video stores 
flourished, granting audiences control over what 
they watched and how: rewind, replay, and fast 
forward buttons were the first step toward viewer 
interactivity. A by-product of this success was that 
movie theaters shrank, as single-screen venues 
were halved and quartered to allow for more 
flexible programing. Across the US, drive-in 
theaters were replaced with multiplexes. 




□ After the introduction of VCR, a whole 
sector of films found their audience at 
home, on video, instead of on the big screen. 



Outside Hollywood 

There was a related fashion in France, where 
Jean-Jacques Beineix pioneered what critic 
Serge Daney dubbed "le cinema du look," with 
the flamboyant Diva (1981) and Betty Blue (1986). 
Luc Besson [Subway, 1985) and former critic 
Leos Carax [Boy Meets Girl, 1984) represented 
the extremes of the style, the first a resolute 
populist, the second a confrontational intellectual. 
Ageing practitioners of the nouvelle vague 
continued to work: Jean-Luc Godard returned 
to film after a flirtation with video, as did Maurice 
Pialat, whose intense emotional authenticity 
inspired a generation of 1990s filmmakers. In 1981, 
however, French film was rocked by the suicide of 
director Jean Eustache. 

Likewise, the New German Cinema was 
knocked off course in 1982 by the death of its 
most prolific talent, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 
aged just 36. Wim Wenders had a tough Hollywood 
initiation with Hammett (1982), but recovered with 
Paris, Texas (1984). He returned to Berlin for Wings 
of Desire (1987), but then lost his way in a number 
of ambitious, muddled projects. 

Some of the best international film of this 
time came from further east: from China's 
Fifth Generation filmmakers (Chen Kaige and 
his erstwhile cameraman, Zhang Yimou); from 
Hong Kong (where Tsui Hark, John Woo, and Stanley 
Kwan were making their mark); and especially 



from Taiwan. Two Taiwanese directors— 
Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang— were 
busy constructing a cinematic identity reflecting 
Taiwan's complex self-image. Hou's films were 
the antithesis of Hollywood's faster, faster approach. 
Languorous meditations on the recent past, they 
were often composed of scenes filmed in a single, 
unobtrusive master shot. 




□ Designer film 

even prevailed in 
France, where films 
like Jean-Jacques 
Beineix's Betty Blue 
(1986) privileged 
style over content. 



54 THE STORY OF FILM 



1990- Celluloid to Digital 

After a century of celluloid, a radical technological shift began to take 
effect in the 1990s with the advent of digital filmmaking. While the 
studios increasingly concentrated their resources on blockbusters like 
Titanic (1997), the independents made intelligent, adult drama and reached 
wider audiences than ever before with movies like Pulp Fiction (1994). 



□ Tom Hanks' Forrest 
Gump (1994) crosses 
paths with JFK, 
President Nixon, and 
Elvis Presley through 
the magic of CGI. 



One hundred years after Louis and Auguste 
Lumiere screened their first one-reelers in Paris, 
40 of the world's leading filmmakers took up the 
challenge of making a film using the original 
Cinematographe camera to create a silent, 
monochrome movie with no cuts, in natural 
light, and lasting no more than 52 seconds. 




Lumiere and Company (1995) showed both how 
much and how little film had changed over the 
course of its short history. For all the innovations 
of sound and color, the various refinements of 
film stock and size, in essence, the technology 
remained the same: strips of celluloid pulled 
through a shutter to be exposed to light for a 
fraction of a second. 

By the dawn of the 21st century, that technology 
was superseded with the transition from analog 
to digital systems. The cutters were the first to 
switch, moving from moviolas to computers. This 
shift was partly necessitated by the increasingly 
frenetic montage techniques popularized by 
filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese in films like 
GoodFeUas (1990), and his one-time pupil Oliver 
Stone in JFK (1991 ) and Natural Born Killers (1994). 
The first 35mm feature with a digital soundtrack 
was Dick Tracy (1990). 

The groundbreaking animation Toy Story 
(1995) was the first feature film made entirely 
on computer, but Jurassic Park (1 993) and Forrest 
Gump (1994) had already integrated computer- 
generated imagery (CGI) into live-action films. 
This technique opened up new avenues for the 
later spectacular historical epics— Titanic (1 997) 
and Gladiator (2000)— and fantasy films, such 
as the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) and 
the Harry Potter series (2001-1 1). These movies 
dominated the box office, ringing up billion-dollar 
receipts worldwide. 



1990-2010 

1990 



1993 



1994 



1997 



1999 



Cyrano de Bergerac, 

with Gerard Depardieu, 
wins a record ten 
Cesar Awards. 

Macaulay Culkin 

becomes a child star 
in Home Alone. 



Disney buys Miramax 
Films for $80 million. 

Actor Brandon Lee 

(son of Bruce) is killed 
by a faulty prop gun 
during the filming of 
The Crow (1994). 



Dreamworks SKG is 

announced by Steven 
Spielberg, Jeffrey 
Katzenberg, and 
David Geffen. 

Spielberg's 1993 film 

Schindler's List wins 
seven Oscars. 



The most expensive 
film to date, James 
Cameron's Titanic, 
also becomes the 
highest grossing. 



The first of three 
prequels, Star Wars: 
Episode I— The Phantom 
Menace, makes $100 
million in a record 
five days. 




55 




The more gradual transition to digital cameras 
was anticipated by a new generation of improved, 
Lightweight video cameras. Although they could 
not match the aesthetic quality of film, video 
cameras had one key advantage: they were 
much cheaper to use. 

Digital filmmaking 

Shrewd low-budget filmmakers in the early 1990s 
capitalized on the digital camera's limitations. They 
employed the extreme handheld cinema verite style 
camerawork, set by Woody Allen's Husbands and 
Wives (1992), Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine (1995), 
and Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1 996), and 
TV shows such as NYPD Blue (1 993-2005). In this 
idiom, poor image quality translated as gritty 
realism. No film exemplified this better than 
The Blair Witch Project (1999). It purported to be 
discovered footage shot on camcorder and 1 6mm 
film, by a student research team who get lost in 



the woods and disappear while investigating 
a local legend. This simple scenario was 
augmented by an elaborate internet campaign 
fostering the notion that the film was, in fact, a 
documentary. The Blair Witch Project cost about 
$35,000 and made a staggering $248 million 
worldwide. A sequel followed two years later, 
but it was a flop. 




□ Going against 
the grain of the CGI 

spectacular, The 
Shawshank Redemption 

(1994) was a slow- 
paced, old-fashioned 
prison drama that could 
have been made any 
time in the last 30 
years. Significantly, it 
was only a minor hit 
on theatrical release, 
but became an all- 
time favorite when 
audiences saw it on 
video and DVD. 



□ By shooting in black 
and white, the talented 
young French director 
Mathieu Kassovitz gave 
his angry youth movie, 
La Haine (1995), a 
patina of realism. 
The film graphically 
illustrates the racial 
divisions that would 
erupt across France 
ten years later. 



2000 2001 2002 2009 2010 

















Crouching Tiger, Hidden 
Dragon is the first Asian 
action film to find US 
commercial and critical 
success. 


The final episode 

of Peter Jackson's 
critically acclaimed 
Lord of the Rings 
trilogy is released. 


Halle Berry is the first 
black actress to win 
a Best Actress Oscar. 
African-American actor 
Denzel Washington also 
wins Best Actor. 


James Cameron breaks 
his own record, with 
Avatar beating Titanic 
to become the highest 
grossing film worldwide. 


Kathryn Bigelow creates 
history by becoming the 
first woman to win a Best 
Director Oscar, for The 
Hurt Locker. 



56 



THE STORY OF FILM 



□ Octogenarian Eric 
Rohmer embraced 
the Latest technology 
to fashion The Lady 
and the Duke (2001), a 
portrait of Revolutionary 
France that resembled a 
painting brought to life. 



Dogme 95 

With developments encouraging more elaborate 
fantasies and facilitating back-to-basics realism, 
four Danish directors seized the moment to 
announce the Dogme 95 Manifesto: "Today, 
a technological storm is raging, the result of 
which will be the ultimate democratization 
of the cinema. For the first time, anyone can 
make movies...." They went on to stress the 
importance of the avant-garde and denounce 
the superficial, cosmetic aspects of the 
Hollywood mainstream. 

Signed by the controversial director Lars von 
Trier, the document concluded with ten "Vows of 
Chastity" designed to return film to its roots in 
realism: filmmakers pledged to shoot on actual 
locations, using only the props that belonged there; 
to avoid period and genre films; to dispense with 
optical effects and "superficial action;" to use a 
handheld camera; and have no post-recorded music. 

Contentious and at least partly tongue in cheek, 
the Dogme 95 movement nevertheless struck a 
chord. Thomas Vinterberg's Festen [The Celebration) 
was the first film to be released under the banner in 
1 998 and it won the Jury Prize at Cannes. Lars von 
Trier's The Idiots was released the same year, and 
contrary to the vows' diktats, it was shot on video. 



The independents 

By 2005, there would be over 50 official Dogme films, 
but that was just a drop in the ocean compared to 
the booming American independent film scene. 

As soon as the technology became available, 
Digital Video (DV) cameras made an immediate 
impact— in the year 2000, twice as many independent 
features were made as in the preceding year. 

Among the first major filmmakers to go digital 
was Mike Figgis, who ran four cameras concurrently 
and quartered the screen in the real-time drama 
Timecode (2000). Spike Lee used digital technology 
for his near-the-knuckle race satire Bamboozled 
(2000), while Eric Rohmer recreated Revolutionary 
France by using digital paintings as backdrops in The 
Lady and the Duke (2001). Zacharias Kunuk's digital 
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001 ) was the first 
native Inuit feature, and in Ali (2001), Michael Mann 
mixed digital and celluloid. Mann went on to exploit 
digital's superior night vision for Collateral (2004). 
Meanwhile, artist David Fincher, who had started 
out in a special effects production company, 
showed how seamlessly CGI could be integrated 
into traditional film drama in Fight Club (1999). 

The indie boom had started in the 1980s, partly 
due to the proliferation of film festivals such as 
Sundance, and perhaps because Hollywood films 



CELLULOID TO DIGITAL 57 



had become conservative and formulaic and 
thus removed from the realities of American Life. 
A piecemeal movement sprang up around role 
models John Sayles (social conscience liberalism), 
who made Silver City (2004), Casa de los Babys 
(2003), and Sunshine State (2002), and Jim 
Jarmusch (minimalist cool), director of films 
including Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Ghost Dog: The 
Way of the Samurai (1999), and MysteryTrain (1989). 

Primarily centered on the US east coast, the 
1980s independents produced breakthrough films 
about African-Americans (Spike Lee's She's Gotta 
Have It, 1986), gays and lesbians (Sayles' Lianna, 
1 983, and Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche, 1 988), and 
about women (Susan Seidelman's Desperately 
Seeking Susan, 1985). These films found critical 
support and developed their own arthouse 



HOME ENTERTAINMENT 



Film audiences have declined almost 
everywhere as widescreen High Definition TV 
sets, TiVo recorders, and DVD players make 
home viewing a more attractive proposition. 
DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs) were introduced 
in 1997, and their superior reproduction of 
picture and sound, durability, and slimline 
packaging proved a runaway success with 
consumers. By 2005, the DVD market became 
the film industry's greatest revenue source. 
DVDs have also given the studios' back 
catalogues a new lease of life. For Hollywood, 
this revenue helps to offset high production and 
marketing costs (about $30 million apiece) 
and lower movie theater attendance. 

Blu-ray Discs, introduced in 2006, took a 
step further. Developed by the Blu-ray Disc 
Association (BDA), the discs got their name 
from the blue-violet laser used to read them, 
which allows a greater density of information 
to be stored than is possible with the red laser 
used on DVDs. A Blu-ray Disc (BD) can store 
up to ten times more data than a DVD, at a 
distinctly better viewing and audio quality, and 
is more scratch-resistant. James Cameron's 
Avatar (2009) sold 6 million BDs in three weeks, 
leading to an 86 percent surge in Blu-ray sales. 
However, the home entertainment experience 
is still undergoing transformation as DVDs and 
Blu-ray discs have given way to web-enabled 
set-top boxes and the iPad. 




audience. Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies, and 
videotape (1989) was a landmark, making 
$24.7 million in the US, and another $30 million 
internationally. It was the biggest hit to date for 
New York "specialty" distribution company, 
Miramax, and the first American indie to break out 
of the arthouse circuit and into the multiplexes. 

Soderbergh immediately landed a studio 
contract and would become one of the most 
successful directors of the era, nabbing two Oscar 
nominations in the same year for Erin Brockovich 
and Traffic in 2000. He was not alone in embracing 
the mainstream; for most, "independence" was a 
transitional station on the way to a Hollywood 
career. Jim Jarmusch was an exception, finding 
funding from Japan that allowed him to retain 
copyright to his cool bohemian doodles. Hal 
Hartley was another who preferred to work cheaply 
without watering down his deadpan neo-Godardian 
comedies, such as Flirt (1995) and Henry Fool 
(1997). Soderbergh himself stepped out of the 
Hollywood mainstream on occasion to recharge 
his creative batteries with avant-garde experiments 
like Schizopolis (1996). And Gus Van Sant went from 
the arthouse [My Own Private Idaho, 1991) to the 
multiplex [Good Will Hunting, 1997) and back 
again [Elephant, 2003). However, most found 
they could co-exist with the studios— in general, 
this was not an era of confrontational political 
filmmaking or challenging formal innovation. 



□ James Cameron's 

Titanic (1997) cost 
$200 million to make, 
and, despite rocky 
reviews, became the 
first film to make over 
$1 billion. It ensured 
mainstream stardom 
for Leonardo DiCaprio 
and Kate Winslet. 



58 THE STORY OF FILM 




□ Bill Murray plays 
a depressed movie 
actor, Bob Harris, 
in Tokyo in Lost in 
Translation (2003). 



The popularity of 

J.K. Rowling's Harry 
Potter books translated 
into mega box office 
hits for Warner Bros. 
The recipe was fidelity 
to the source, expert 
British character 
acting, and— the 
magic ingredient- 
dazzling CGI trickery. 



The new indies 

Quite a few of the talented young filmmakers 
who emerged from the indie sector contented 
themselves with working clever, ironic variations 
on classical Hollywood genres. Joel and Ethan 
Coen, for example, made a series of stylish 
pastiches on the works of James M. Cain, 
Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Clifford 
Odets, and Preston Sturges. 

Quentin Tarantino 

Cult heroes the Coens were rudely trumped when 
Quentin Tarantino unleashed his more visceral 
brand of souped-up cinephilia with Reservoir Dogs 
in 1992. Born in 1963, Tarantino had grown up in 
the video age. In fact, he worked as a clerk in a 
video store before Harvey Keitel showed interest 
in his script about an undercover cop infiltrating a 
gang of jewel thieves. A magpie talent, Tarantino's 
influences were legion: Hong Kong thrillers 
{Reservoir Dogs borrowed from a Ringo Lam thriller, 
City on Fire, 1987); Jean-Luc Godard; Jean-Pierre 
Melville; Stanley Kubrick; and Sam Fuller. 

In synthesizing these influences, Tarantino 
also forged something new and arresting: a pop 
post-modernism that spoke for the young people 
whom novelist Douglas Coupland referred to as 
"Generation X" and filmmaker Richard Linklater 
dubbed "Slackers." Non-conformists but avid 
consumers, this generation was media-savvy, 
ironic about relationships, cynical about politics, 
but inclined toward liberal multi-culturalism. 

Tarantino's second film, Puip Fiction (1994), 
rocked Hollywood with its audacious approach to 
narrative structure, outrageously casual violence, 



BOX OFFICE HITS OF THE 1990s-2000s 

1 Avatar (James Cameron, US, 2009) 

2 Titanic (James Cameron, US, 1997) 

3 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

(Peter Jackson, US/New Zealand, 2003) 

4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 

(Gore Verbinski, US, 2006) 

5 Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, US, 2010) 

6 Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton, US, 2010) 

7 The Dark Knight 

(Christopher Nolan, US, 2008) 

8 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 

(Chris Columbus, US/UK, 2001) 

9 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 

(Gore Verbinski, US, 2007) 

1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

(David Yates, US/UK, 2007) 



and flip, funny dialogue. Produced by Miramax, 
it became the first "indie" movie to break $100 
million at the US box office. To the dismay of the 
old guard, it even walked away with the Palme 
d'Or at Cannes, depriving Polish auteur Krzysztof 
Kieslowski of a third straight festival triumph 
for his Three Colours trilogy (1993-94). 

Tarantino's success— and the disproportionate 
influence it bestowed on Miramax— has been 
criticized for "mainstreaming" arthouse and 
independent film. Conversely, he could be credited 
for pushing the borders of the commercial film, 
breaking ground for the wider acceptance of 
independent-minded artists such as Richard 
Linklater, Paul Thomas Anderson, David 0. Russell, 
Spike Jonze, and Sofia Coppola, who became the 
first American woman to earn an Oscar nomination 
for Best Director with Lost in Translation (2003). 
Tarantino was the most important American 
filmmaker of the 1990s. 

World film 

Beyond US borders, Hollywood continued to exert 
a strong grip on film markets in Europe (with the 
partial exception of France), Asia, and the southern 
hemisphere, although India, China, Hong Kong, 
and South Korea all maintained strong local 
industries. Initially, it was Hong Kong that made 
the maximum international impact, with a series 
of prestigious arthouse films from Wong Kar Wai, 
such as Chungking Express (1994), and a cycle of 





stylish, souped-up urban crime thrillers such as 
John Woo's^ Better Tomorrow (1986), Ringo Lam's 
Full Contact (1993), and Wai-keung Lau and Siu 
Fai Mak's Infernal Affairs (2002). Woo and Lam 
both went on to Hollywood careers, while Martin 
Scorsese directed Leonardo DiCaprio in The 
Departed (2006), a remake of Infernal Affairs. 

Hollywood continues to draw fresh blood 
from the thriving Asian horror market, remaking 
Japanese hits, such as Ringu (1998) and The Grudge 
(2003), and enticing their directors— Hideo Nakata 
and Takashi Shimizu respectively— to the US. 

Elsewhere, Mexico produced the thrilling 
Amores Perros (2000)and YTu Mama Tambien 
(2001), and Brazil came up with the incendiary 
favela story City of God (2002, see p. 342). Isolated 
from American culture, Iran produced a refracted, 
poetic take on neorealism through filmmakers 
like Mohsen Makmalbaf, Jafar Panahi, and the 
minimalist master Abbas Kiarostami [A Taste 
of Cherry, 1997). 

Lacking a strong home market for genre films, 
and failing to compete with the production values 
of Hollywood, European film seems largely 
irrelevant to most audiences most of the time. 
Aside from a few arthouse stalwarts like Pedro 
Almodovar [All About My Mother, 1999), Michael 
Haneke [Cache, 2005), and Lars von Trier {Dogville, 
2003), there is no guarantee of widespread 
international distribution beyond the film-festival 
circuit and DVD. 



Digital downloads 

Today the industry is facing its next great 
challenge: the internet. Digital downloads of 
feature films and streamed video-on-demand 
have become a reality, raising the specters of 
widespread piracy and the collapse of theatrical 
exhibition. However, film has survived such scares 
before, adapting to new technologies and ultimately 
profiting from them. 

The world wide web holds out promises too: 
a video jukebox with an infinite range of choice, 
virtually no delivery costs, and an audience that 
would have been unimaginable at any time before 
in the art form's history. 




Q Working stylish 
variations on the 

classic cops and 
robbers formula, Hong 
Kong thriller Infernal 
Affairs (2002) was a 
smash hit at home and 
abroad. Two equally 
inventive sequels 
followed soon after. 



J 

m 



□ Crash (2005) was 
a surprise winner over 
Ang Lee's Broke back 
Mountain (2005) at the 
2006 Academy Awards, 
scooping the prize for 
Best Film. Set in Los 
Angeles, it highlights 
racial tensions and the 
assumptions strangers 
make about each other. 



□ After two Hollywood flops, Alfonso Cuaron 
put his career back on track by returning to his 
native Mexico to make the earthy sex comedy 
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001 ). 



INTRODUCTION I I 63 



End-of-movie credits run for minutes, and rightly so. It takes 
many creative, technical, publicity, and distribution talents 
to take a movie from an idea to the screen. The Godfather 
(1972) had crews across several continents, while Gone With 
the Wind (1939) had multiple crews in the studio. 



The basic stages of making a movie remain 
the same whatever the size of the budget 
or the cast. The process begins with pre- 
production, then moves through production, 
and post-production. The players in 
pre-production and production include the 
producers, directors, screenwriters, and 
actors— the "above-the-line" people who 
usually have higher status and wildly varying 
payment. Below-the-line players generally 
include the production department, 
cinematographers, composers, editors, 
costume designers, production designers, 
stuntpeople, and sound crew. Their costs 
are generally lower and more predictable. 

After the filming of a movie, post-production 
begins. This stage involves the editor, sound 
editor, composer, and special effects crew. 
The final part of post-production involves 
getting the movie to its audience, which 
includes distribution and exhibition. After 
post-production, the final version of the film 
goes to distributors and exhibitors. Distributors 
decide when the movie will be released and 
get it to the movie theaters, and exhibitors 
show the finished product. 

□ The Perils of Pauline (19U) made farmer's 
daughter Pearl White a star and honed the elements 
of action films— danger, stunts, and suspense. 



Anecdotes about how actors, directors, 
producers, and screenwriters collaborate 
are legion. The inception of a film may be 
straightforward— as with the concept for It's 
a Wonderful Life (1946), which was transmitted 
from Frank Capra to James Stewart— or it may 
be long and involved, as in the search for a new 
James Bond, such as Daniel Craig. Equally 
intricate is the work of technical staff, such as 
the costume designers who, for example, might 
have to design authentic Roman Empire-era 
clothes, as for Gladiator (2000). Dazzling special 
effects combine computer-generated images 
and old-fashioned physical trickery to enliven a 
story of a giant gorilla or a galaxy far, far away. 

After a movie is made, it has to reach the 
viewer. Distributors set up showing periods 
with movie theaters, then alter the time frame 
if a film is a surprise hit or underperforms. 
Movies are also released in international 
markets, where established stars might save 
a film that has floundered in its home 
country. Finally, there is the video market, 
where all movies end up, often (as with 
children's classics) resulting in a good profit. 

The complexity of filmmaking disproves 
silent star Norma Desmond's (Gloria Swanson) 
claim in Sunset Boulevard (1950) when she says, 
"I am big. It's the pictures that got small." 



64 



HOW MOVIES ARE MADE 



Pre-production 



The pre-production stage of making a movie usually begins with a 
conversation. Held anywhere, this discussion will mark the first time 
producers, screenwriters, and studio executives discuss the concept 
and potential actors for their movie. 



□ Director Nicholas Ray 

(Left) discusses a project 
with screenwriter Philip 
Yordan. They worked 
together on Johnny 
Guitar in 1954. 




The "pitch" and the producer 

As captured in movie Lore and skewered in 
Robert Altman's The Player (1992), a movie pitch 
is a short encapsulation of a movie idea which, 
if it succeeds, pleases a studio executive or other 
powerful individuals. Some ideas get the go-ahead 
but fail in execution, such as the remake of Sabrina 
(1995). Others, such as James Cameron's conception 
of Titanic (1997) as primarily a love story, can result 
in a film classic. 

From the beginning, the producer is central 
to the making of the movie. He may be a forceful, 
creative type or he may be part of a group of 
investors who has a more distant relationship 



with the industry but knows the star. Since the 
early days of the Hollywood studio system, the 
definition of a producer has become increasingly 
fluid and many are now seeking to have the tasks 
of producers defined more clearly. Traditionally, 
however, a producer is responsible for securing 
the money to make the movie. 

In most cases, the money for a movie comes 
from the studio executives. Like producers, the 
studio executives vary in the scope of their power. 
Wherever they fit, they will provide money and 
be highly involved with the screenwriter and 
producer through the next stage of the movie— 
the development stage. 



PRE PRODUCTION I 65 



The development stage 

This part of the process encompasses the activities 
necessary to get a movie ready for production, 
that is, filming. These include discussing the 
concept and script, historical research, story- 
boarding, and casting. 

In restaurants and offices, producers and movie 
executives cook up a deal and talk it through. At 
this stage, a screenwriter also produces a draft 
of the script. The screenwriter is usually known to 
the producers or executives, having worked with 
them in the past, or through experience on similar 
types of projects. Whatever the screenwriter's 
stature, the script is very often rewritten again 
and again to please the producers and studios, 
in a process known as development, which can be 
so tortuous that it earns the name "development 
hell." When the script is finished and believed to 
represent a potentially profitable venture, studio 
executives "green light" the picture and pre- 
production begins. 

Actors may also be involved at the development 
stage. This is even more likely to be the case 
if the script is being written as a vehicle 
for a particular actor, or is attached 
to a well-known actor-director/ 
producer team (such as 



James Cameron/Arnold 
Schwarzenegger in the 
1980s and 1990s). Another 
situation in which this may 
be the case is if the actor 
is the director himself 
(such as Clint Eastwood or 
Mel Gibson). Often, stars 
who are big at the box 
office are involved during 
development to secure the 
necessary funding for a 
big film. A top US star can command $30 million 
per movie— and may also receive a percentage 
of the gross profit. Less well-known actors are 
usually signed up during this stage. 





□ Film scripts are 

often revised, both 
before and during 
filming. This is a 
marked-up script 
by Harold Pinter for 
The Servant [ 1963). 




□ Storyboards help the director 
visualize each scene— these 
are from The Wizard of Oz (1 939). 




66 



HOW MOVIES ARE MADE 




□ The Living Daylights 

(1987), in which Timothy 
Dalton made his debut 
as James Bond, was 
shot in Europe, the US, 
and in the studio. Here, 
the crane allows for 
a panoramic view 
of the set. 



Producer and production crew 

At the pre-production stage, the practical members 
of the production department calculate the cost of 
the preparation for, and the shooting of, the film. 
Depending on his level of involvement, the producer 
may also be responsible for hiring the crew, which 
includes a director of photography, a production 
designer, a costume designer, a composer, and 
an editor. He may also be involved in setting up 
a shooting schedule and budget, and choosing 
locations. Generally, the location scout searches 
for the best locations for the movie. These may be 
real, for example, New York for On the Town (1949); 
or a convincing substitute, such as using Italy for 
19th-century New York streets in Gangs of New York 



(2002). To film the 1 6th-century feudal Japan of Akira 
Kurosawa's Throne of Blood (1957), the director 
commissioned a castle to be built. The 19th-century 
story of love and obsession on the British coast, 
Karel Reisz's The French Lieutenant's Woman (1 981 ) 
was filmed in part on location, in a British town 
largely untouched by time (Lyme Regis). 

Creative crew 

To sign up actors, casting directors first break 
down a script to see what roles have to be cast. 
They may use a private company like Breakdown 
Services in the US, which distributes daily lists, 
or "breakdowns," of available roles to the Screen 
Actors Guild (SAG, the major association for actors), 



PRE PRODUCTION f 67 



^WHO'S WHO ON SET 



Best boy Assistant to the gaffer 



Rnnm onprator 


Po^ition^ ^nrl nnpr^tp^ 

1 UDI LIUMO u MU UUCI uLCD 




thp nnirrnnhnnp 


Chief/key/head grip 


Moves the camera 


Continuity person 


Ensures that make-up, 


(script supervisor) 


costumes, etc. don't 




change between scenes 


Director of photography 


Responsible for the choice 


(cinematog rap her/first 


of lighting, composition, 


cameraman/lighting 


camera, lens, and film — 


ra m o ra ma n 1 
Ld I I I c I dill d I I J 


in far~t tho InnU" nf 

III IdLL, IIIC LUUr\ Ul 




the film 


First assistant cameraman 


Maintains the camera, 


(focus puller) 


changes lenses and 




magazines, and operates 




the focus control 


Gaffer 


Chief electrician 


Grip 


Moves equipment 




on set 



Location manager Finds suitable locations 

and clears their use with 
the owner 



Mixer 


In overall charge of 


(sound recordist) 


the sound recording 


Production manager 


In charge of the 


(line producer) 


day-to-day budget 


Second assistant 


Loads magazines, operates 


cameraman 


the clapperboard, and performs 


(clapper loader) 


other camera tasks 


Set decorator 


Finds props and 




decorates the set 


Set designer 


Designs the set using 




sketches and models 


Stills person 


Takes still photographs 




of the production 


Wardrobe 


Responsible for the care 




and repair of costumes 




throughout production 



franchised agents, and personal managers. The 
agents and managers then submit the names of 
clients who might be right for the part. Following 
auditions and hiring, the casting director then 
negotiates the contract with the actor. 

Meanwhile, the cinematography, production 
design, and editing components of the movie will be 
set up. The director and director of photography, or 
DP, may discuss the intended look for the film and 



how to achieve it. The DP may also confer with 
the production designer and crew to make sure 
that the cameras can be accommodated in the set 
design. When planning the shoot, the scenes are 
not shot in order: for example all the action in one 
location will be filmed together, even though it might 
be viewed at different times in the final version. 
During post-production, the editor will put it all 
together according to the storyline. 




□ Italian producer 
Giovannella Zannoni 

and Italian director 
Franco Zeffirelli look 
over some footage 
together on the set of 
ZeffireLLi p s film Tea With 
Mussolini (1999). 



68 



HOW MOVIES ARE MADE 



Production 

As immortalized in movies about the movies, such as Singin' in the 
Rain (1952), production is the actual process of shooting a movie. It 
occurs after pre-production is completed and includes the crafts of 
acting, cinematography, costume design, directing, lighting, and design. 



Cinematography 

Lighting and photographing a film is known 
as cinematography, and is the responsibility of 
the director of photography (DP), also known as the 
cinematographer. Although the DP is responsible for 
how the film is lit and photographed, he or she does 
not run the camera or set up the lights. Instead, 
under the DP's supervision, these activities are 
carried out by the cinematographic crew. The camera 
operator runs the camera; the electrical crew is 
under the guidance of the gaffer or chief electrician. 

In all phases of movie production, the DP 
is a craftsperson and an artist. He or she has 
a knowledge of many kinds of technology, such 
as film stocks and printing processes, cameras, 
lenses, and filters; and applies artistic sensibilities 
to place the camera and compose the picture in 
the frame. Nearly every day, the DP reviews the 
"rushes" or daily footage and discusses it with 
the director to make sure the movie has the 
director's desired approach. 

In the US, members of the professional society 
called the American Society of Cinematographers 
appear in film credits with "ASC" after their name. 

□ Girl with a Pearl 
Earring (2003) required 
cinematographer 
Eduardo Serra to 
recreate artist 
Johannes Vermeer's 
aesthetic sensibility. 




□ A member of the art department paints 
a background for an imaginary, historical, 
or inaccessible location. This department 
works under the production designer. 



Production design 

The physical world to be photographed in a movie 
is created by the production designer. He or she 
acts as an architect, decorator, and visionary to 
create everything from elaborate sets to small 
props that may become totemic items, like the light 
sabers of Star Wars (1977). Among the production 
designer's duties are designing and overseeing the 
construction of sets and scenery; designing props 
and overseeing their purchase or rental; and 




PRODUCTION I 69 



working with the costume designer to make sure 
the actors' wardrobe matches with the rest of the 
film's Look. The production designer usually has 
knowledge of architecture, engineering, painting, 
drawing, and theater and film arts. He or she 
applies this background to research the historical 
period of the movie and the material world of its 
inhabitants, or to realize an imaginary culture, 
which can range from the look of an Elizabethan 
theater in Shakespeare in Love (1 998) to the 
futuristic world of Gattaca (1997). 

Active in both the pre-production and production 
stages, the production designer works with the 
director and producer to create sketches of sets. 
Implementing these ideas requires adherance 
to budgets, time constraints, and the vision of the 
director. It also requires a team, known as the art 
department, including the art director, set designer, 
set decorator, scenic artist, property master, 
construction coordinator, and landscaper. 

Acting 

Once signed, actors prepare for their roles. They 
develop appropriate characteristics for their 
character, such as gaining weight, as Robert De 
Niro did to play an olderJake LaMotta in Raging 
Bull (1 980), or finding a walk, as Alec Guinness 
is said to have done for each of his roles. Some 
immerse themselves in the period of the film. But 
nearly all serious actors have prepared beforehand 
through acting training. One of the best known 
schools for actors is the Actors Studio in New York 
City. Founded in 1947 and led by Lee Strasberg, the 
Actors Studio has encouraged actors to develop a 
deep understanding of their characters' motivations. 
Well-known actors who have used the Actors 
Studio "Method" style (see box, p. 37) include 
Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, 
and Marilyn Monroe. Notable university acting 
programs include the Yale School of Drama in 
the US, while drama schools such as The Royal 
Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London have 
trained many well-known faces. Internationally, 
drama schools abound. In Paris, there is the 
national drama and theater school, Conservatoire 
National Superieur d'Art Dramatique. Germany 
has the Berlin University of the Arts, Spain has 
the Septima Ars School of Cinema and TV. Finland 
has its Theatre Academy, and in India, there is the 
National School of Drama. 



While audiences are no longer shocked by actors 
varying the type of persona they portray, as they were 
with aspects of James Stewart's performance in 
Anatomy of a Murder (1959), most actors still manage 
their careers effectively by remaining consistent to 
the sensibilities they have established in their films. 
So, Tom Hanks will doubtless continue to represent 
the decent everyman, while Julia Roberts is likely 
to remain the accessible, practical everywoman. 

Film actor in action 

Film is a medium that picks up small nuances 
in expression; the stage represents the character 
through movement and gesture. On the set, actors 
endure challenges and advantages unique to the 
form. Unlike the stage, the set offers no live 
audience for reaction and support; but it does 
allow the actor to redo a line or scene he or she 
is not happy with. The film actor is also in constant 
collaboration with the various film technicians 
who handle cinematography, music, and editing. 
They all come together to highlight the actor's 
performance. Charlton Heston's Moses in 
The Ten Commandments (1956) is accorded 
stature by the forceful color on screen and 
Cecil B. DeMille's direction, which defines 
Heston's powerful character via a series 
of sweeping gestures. 

In the US, actors are 
members of the Screen 
Actors Guild, which has 
established a minimum 
payment for its actors. 
More established or 

in-demand actors get salaries far beyond 
scale, but for many actors, the rate is scale 
plus ten (ten percent for the agent). 

Stunt performers 

The players who substitute for the main actors 
and perform acts involving risk are the stunt 
performers. These trained men and women are 
largely unknown to the movie-going audience, 
but their presence in fires, explosions, or chase 
scenes is essential. They are chosen for their 
general resemblance to the star and are 
dressed to match him or her. 

Although some actors do at least some of 
their own stunts, stunt doubles replace actors 
when the stunt is considered too dangerous for 



□ Jackie Chan is 

renowned for doing 
his own stunts, as 
seen here in Rush Hour 
(1998). Other examples 
of his stuntwork include 
Rumble in the Bronx 
(1995) and the early 
masterpiece, Drunken 
Master (1978). 




70 



HOW MOVIES ARE MADE 



□ Racing Stripes (2005) 
brings the animal/ 
animatronics film into 
the 21st century but 
relies on a classic story 
of wishes coming true; 
a zebra (voice of Frankie 
Muniz) believes he is 
a racehorse and 
comes to race with 
thoroughbreds. 



anyone but a trained person. In part, a stunt 
performer is used for economic reasons: to keep 
the actor in sufficiently good health to complete the 
movie and make good on the investment. If a stunt 
is considered too dangerous for a human being, 
the effects are done by digital imagery and 
long-established camera tricks. In using stunt 
performers, the aim is to avoid mishaps, such as 
the injury sustained by silent comic actor Harold 
Lloyd, who lost a thumb and forefinger while 
filming Haunted Spooks (1920). 

In the US, stunt performers are members 
of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures 
and the Screen Actors Guild. Some of them 
are so accomplished that they receive industry 
accolades. Perhaps the most honored was Western 
and action movie stuntman Yakima Canutt (1 895— 
1986), who appeared in Stagecoach (1939), and 
who received a special Academy Award for his 
extraordinary stuntwork in 1966. 

Animals and children 

While digital effects and animatronics can be 
used to create an animal, or at least place it 
where the director wants it to be, real animals 
are still effective additions to many movies, 
particularly family-oriented ones. To circumvent 
some of the troubles of dealing with animals, 
multiple look-alike animals are sometimes used, 
each featuring in a different set of scenes. An 
animal may also be made to perform by a trainer 



dangling food before its eyes. In some films, 
the animals themselves are the stars. Notable 
examples include Lassie, whose first big-screen 
feature, Lassie Come Home (1943), was actually 
Oscar-nominated; and the killer whale Willy, who 
makes friends with a young boy in the heart- 
warming Free lY/7/y (1 993). 

Children are also big draws for the movie-goer 
seeking familiarity. On the set, child actors pose 
many of the same challenges as animals. Hence, 
multiple child actors are chosen for a role (such 
as twins or triplets in a movie calling for a baby), 
and they perform for only limited periods. In 
most countries, child labor laws regulate 
how long child actors may remain on the set. 
Furthermore, school-age children are usually 
tutored when they are not filming. 

Sound 

Sound is a crucial element in films, because 
it helps to create the required atmosphere as, 
for example, in Jaws (1 975). 

Sound in film comprises three components- 
dialogue, sound effects, and music— and is 
created and implemented by three people— 
the mixer, sound editor, and composer. These 
components appear on separate tracks, recorded 
separately, but run together in the movie. The 
sound crew works on the film during both 
the production and post-production stages 
of making a film. 





PRODUCTION I 71 




The first of two phases of creating a movie's 
sound occurs during the production stage. This is 
when most of the dialogue and some sound effects 
are recorded on the set. The person in charge at 
this point is the floor mixer, who ensures that the 
recording is dear and in balance. The dialogue 
takes priority over background sounds, since 
the latter can always be dubbed in later. A guide 
track is used to dub dialogue and background 
sounds if necessary. 

The many tasks involved in creating the sound 
mix are carried out by the sound crew. This includes 
the sound mixer (or floor mixer or recordist), who 
is responsible for the sound recording on the set 
and directs the rest of the crew. Other members 
of the sound crew include the sound recorder, 
boom operator, cablemen, and playback operators. 

Costumes, make-up, and hair 

Just as the production designer creates a world 
on the set or location of a film, the costume 
designer, make-up artist, and hairstylist change 
the actors' clothes and their overall appearance 
so that they fit into the world that is being 
created onscreen. 

The costume designer works closely with the 
director, cinematographer, and production designer 
to create a wardrobe. Part of the job is to research 
the period covered in the film for clothing style, 
colour, fabric composition, and fit on the body. 
The different professions that may be included 
within this area are those of costume supervisor, 
costumer/stylist, set costumer, tailor/seamstress, 
wig master or mistress, and wardrobe attendant. 
Wardrobe pieces that can be purchased off-the- 
peg (from a shop) may be obtained by the stylist. 

Many top costume designers have become 
known for the looks they create, the actors they 
have dressed, or the stories they generate. The 
broad-shouldered look that Adrian created for 
Joan Crawford was embraced (in modified form) 
for ladies' wear during the 1940s; Givenchy was 
the man who dressed Audrey Hepburn; and 
Travis Banton dressed Marlene Dietrich. 
Consummate studio designer Edith Head 
dressed just about everyone— stories and 
anecdotes abounded about her famous 
clients' attributes and habits, such as Barbara 
Stanwyck's tiny waist or Paul Newman and 
Robert Redford's unfussy ways. 




Even more than the costume designer, the 
make-up artist develops a close relationship with 
the actor. The make-up artist is responsible for 
conveying the actor's sensibility for the film by 
preparing the actor's face, neck, forearms, and 
hands. The work is redone at least once a day 
and must remain consistent throughout shooting. 
Members of the make-up team include the make-up 
artist and his or her assistant. If relevant to the film, 
there may also be a body make-up artist, who will 
often create extraordinary effects with make-up. 

There has been a separate category for make-up 
in the Academy Awards since 1 981 . Awards have 
been given to such diverse films as Frida (2002) 
and The Chronicles ofNarnia: The Lion, the Witch 
and the Wardrobe (2005). 

Special effects 

Beyond the ability of the stuntperson or costume 
designer lies special effects. In a huge range of 
movie genres, including drama, epic, and horror, 
special effects are manufactured illusions that can 
be imagined, but are impossible to film without 
trickery. Examples include the sinking of the Titanic 
in James Cameron's 1997 film of the same name, 
and the transformation of mad scientist Seth 
Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) into a horrific giant man/ 
fly hybrid in The Fly (1986). In many cases, special 
effects are used to reduce costs. Filming in front 
of a matte painting is less costly than filming on a 
huge national monument (such as Mount Rushmore 



□ Robert Englund 

is transformed into 
Freddy Krueger, the 
horribly scarred dream 
monster of A Nightmare 
on Elm Street (1984) and 
its sequels. Creature 
make-up typically 
requires several hours 
daily for application 
and removal of latex 
appliances. 



72 



HOW MOVIES ARE MADE 



in North by Northwest, 1959). It can also be used 
to create the illusion of filming taking place at an 
off-limits location. Special effects (abbreviated 
as FX, SFX, SPFX, or EFX) are of two kinds. They 
are visual or photographic effects, achieved by 
manipulating the film image, and mechanical or 
physical effects, achieved using mechanical devices 
on the set. While a physical effect may be simple, 
such as using an unseen rope to move or knock 
over a prop, special effects today are usually 
much more complicated. 

Visual effect techniques include computer- 
generated imagery (CGI), digital compositing, 
digital matte paintings, green screen technology, 
miniatures, morphing, motion-capture, rotoscopes, 
and traveling mattes. 

Mechanical effects include animatronic puppets, 
explosions, full-scale mock-ups, rain and snow 
machines, squibs that replicate bloody bullet hits, 
and wires attached to actors. A complicated FX 
sequence may include a variety of visual and 
mechanical effects. 

Technological advances 

The technology for special effects is changing 
so rapidly that many long-standing practices, 
such as brush-and-canvas matte paintings, 



and rear projection have now fallen out of use. 
Even animatronics, used (with difficulty) for 
the shark in Jaws (1 975) and refined in the 
films of the 1 980s and 1 990s, is less widely 
used today. Yet some established technologies 
that are still used include rain and snow machines, 
which permit filming even when the weather 
is uncooperative. Some digital effects, such 
as morphing (a computer-generated effect in 
which one image is transformed into another), 
have been around so long that they are almost 
considered old-fashioned nowadays. 

Current technologies include motion- 
capture, in which an actor's movements are 
translated to a computer-graphics model. 
Motion-capture can be blended with digital 
animation to create realistic virtual creatures, 
such as the giant gorilla in King Kong (2005). 
James Cameron revolutionized filmmaking 
in his Avatar (2009), in which real footage is 
mixed with motion-captured CGI in an immersive 
3-D technology. 

Green screens are green fabric backgrounds 
positioned behind actors that allow CGI to be 
integrated into the scene. Blue screens were 
originally used, but have been largely superseded by 
green ones because green delivers finer outlines. 



POST PRODUCTION I I 73 



Post-production 

A crucial part of the moviemaking process begins once filming is finished. 
Thousands of frames of film must be assembled in an order that conveys a 
story, and the scenes may be shortened or reordered so that the finished 
product reflects the director's vision. 



Editing 

Most films are shot out of sequence. During 
filming, it is the editor's job to begin assembling 
the pieces of film into the order in which they will 
be seen in the final movie. The editor talks with the 
director about the previous day's filming, known 
as "rushes." The film shot may be transferred to a 
videotape or digital format for ease of rearranging 
or selection. The film construction made at this 
point is called the assembly. The bulk of the editing 
is done during post-production. 

Film editors carry out various different stages 
of editing to shape the final arrangement of shots 
that makes a finished film. First, they work with 
the director to refine the assembly of all the 
different sections of the film into a rough cut, 
the first fully edited work print, which includes the 
film's soundtrack. However, the individual shots 
are not completely determined at this stage. This 
version of the film is dominated by the director's 
vision and is known as the director's cut. During 
post-production, the DP and the director also 
work together to oversee the timing of the first 
print. Among the tasks at this stage is the correction 





□ The sound mixing desk is where the various 
tracks of human dialogue, sound effects, and 
music are combined to create an original to 
transfer to the film negative. 



of density and color balance. Following repeated 
consultations with the director, the editor assembles 
the shots with visual effects into the fine cut. This 
runs to the length that the director, editor, and 
producer have agreed on. 

For the first hundred years of filmmaking, film 
editing meant physically cutting and reassembling 
the edited film reel itself. Today, however, much film 
editing is done electronically, using video and digital 
technology. Films are transferred to videotape and 
digital format, and are computer coded; this allows 
scenes to be edited on screen. The original 
negative is cut using the fine cut as a guide. 

Post-production sound 

There are four post-production stages that go into 
creating the movie's sound. These include dialogue 
and sound effects, composed music, the sound 
mix, and the transfer of the original sound mix 
on to the film negative. First, the sound editor, or 
sound effects editor, works with the director and 
editor to create the soundtracks. Additional sounds 
are either created by a foley artist— a technician 
who adds sound effects during the dubbing 
process— or taken from film library stock. 



□ Charlie Chaplin is 

seen editing a film. He 
also wrote, directed, 
and acted in his films 
in a 50-year career. 




74 



□ Composer John 
Williams has won 

Academy Awards for 
Best Score for Jaws 
(1975), Star Wars 
(1977), EI; The Extra 
Terrestrial (1982), and 
Schindler's List (1993). 




□ Film stars often 
do publicity to promote 
their recent releases, 
such as Tom Cruise 
here on Jay Leno's 
late night talk show. 



A composer (such as John Williams or Danny 
Elfman) is used if the film requires an original 
score. A music editor edits the music to fit the 
film. For existing music under copyright, rights 
managers agree on fees for its use in the film. 
A recording or re-recording mixer works with 
the director to blend together the many tracks of 
different sound, and the finished mix is transferred 
on to the original negative. The film sound is 
recorded with a digital system and reproduced 
as an optical soundtrack. It is then read as 
synchronized sound when it is sent through 
the loudspeakers during an audience showing. 

Release prints 

Color testing follows the making of the original 
negative. Once all phases of the movie are 
completed, the movie is previewed with audiences; 
depending on their reaction, final cuts are made. 




Master prints are made from the original 
negative when it is finalized, and duplicate 
negatives are then made from that to produce 
release prints. 

Distribution and exhibition 

Once a movie is completed, the distributor 
gets it to movie theaters and exhibitors make 
sure that it is shown. The distributor is usually 
the movie studio that financed the film. The 
distributor plans the release date, licenses 
the movie to theaters, arranges to have prints 
of the film sent to exhibitors, and creates 
a marketing and advertising program for 
it. The exhibitor negotiates a financial deal 
with the distributor for the financial take 
at the movie theater on the film, including 
paying advance money to secure an expected hit. 

The studio is also responsible for advertising 
and publicizing the film. This includes market 
research, advertisements (television, radio, 
newspaper, and online), "coming attractions" 
trailers in movie theaters, posters, lobby cards, and 
stills. Other aspects of publicity include press kits 
and press releases to the media, and booking 
stars for media interviews and general visibility. 

Theatrical release 

Once the film is in the theater, it has only a 
short time to earn its money as a theatrical 
release. After a few weeks or (if the movie is 
a blockbuster or an Academy Award winner) 
months, attendance will diminish. The days 
of one film (such as The Sound of Music, 1965) 
playing at the same theater for a year are gone, 
and unlikely to return. Therefore, distributors 
have to judge box office receipts carefully and 



POST PRODUCTION I 75 



recalibrate the number of theaters that are showing 
a film. A movie with good word-of-mouth and 
sustained interest (such as March of the Penguins, 
2005) will be shown on more screens, while an 
underperforming film may need a different 
advertising campaign (as with Munich, 2005) 
or might be withdrawn altogether. 

After the domestic theatrical release, a film's 
earning potential is extended by its release in 
overseas theaters. There is also revenue to 
come from DVD and Blu-ray disc sales, internet 
downloads, and the licensing to a variety of TV 
rights, including pay-per-view, premium cable 
channels, basic cable channels, and terrestrial 
television. The distributor can also extend a film's 
life by licensing merchandising rights to makers of 
toys, mugs, T-shirts, recordings, and video games. 
Since the release of Star Wars in 1 977, and the 
highly successful accompanying figurines and 
book tie-ins, merchandising has taken on a new 
importance. Many products relating to a movie 
are now sold even before the release of the film. 



The role of the film critic 

Good planning and dealmaking does not ensure 
a hit. Neither does advance audience interest. 
Often, the success of a movie begins (or ends) 
with film critics. 

Film critics are the first to slot a movie into its 
place in the film canon. They pre-screen the movie 
and tell the audience whether they believe it is 
worth the price of admission. Despite the critics, 
however, the strongest force for the popularity of 
a movie is the audience. Based on the film's stars, 
subject matter, director, time of year, and the 
cultural atmosphere of the time, the public decides 
whether to go and see a film or not. Audiences are 
affected by timing: Jaws, for example, worked 
well as a summer blockbuster. They also want an 
element of familiarity: Shakespeare in Love works, 
but Marlowe in Love probably wouldn't. Finally, 
the time has to be right culturally: the Western 
Brokeback Mountain, about gay ranch hands, was 
very successful when released in 2005, but 20 years 
ago, it may have been only an arthouse picture. 



□ A general view of the 

81st Academy Awards 
held at the Kodak 
Theatre. In recent years, 
award ceremonies have 
set fashion trends, as 
well as invigorating box 
office takings. 



INTRODUCTION I 79 



When a film is labeled a Western, a musical, or a comedy, 
audiences already have certain expectations about it. Within 
each genre, films may differ in many respects, but they will 
share comparable, recognizable patterns in theme, period, 
setting, plot, use of symbols, and characterization. 



The concept of genre really began during the 
Hollywood studio period. It helped production 
decisions and made a film easier to market. 
Also, during Hollywood's golden era ( when 
the studios were turning out hundreds of 
films at a rapid rate, a generic concept 
provided scriptwriters with a template 
with which to work. 

Each studio specialized in a particular 
genre: Universal (horror), Warner Bros, 
(gangster), MGM (musicals), and Paramount 
(comedy). Some directors became connected 
with a specific genre: John Ford (Westerns), 
Cecil B. DeMille (epics), Alfred Hitchcock 
(thrillers), Vincent Minnelli (musicals), and 
Douglas Sirk (melodramas). However, it was 
with the stars that the public most associated 
certain types of picture: James Cagney, 
Edward G. Robinson (gangster films); Joan 
Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck (melodramas); 
Fred Astaire, Betty Grable (musicals); John 
Wayne, Randolph Scott (Westerns); and Boris 
Karloff, Bela Lugosi (horror films). Performers 
were so closely linked with certain genres 
that it became an event when they departed 
from the norm. "Garbo Laughs!" was the 

Q Janet Leigh is about to be stabbed in the shower 
in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), one of the most 
famous and shocking scenes in film history. 



publicity line for Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka 
(1939), which prepared audiences to accept 
Greta Garbo, who had previously been seen 
only in melodramas, in a comedy. 

Today, genres and actors have become 
more flexible, although stars such as Bruce 
Willis and Sylvester Stallone remain linked 
in the public's mind with action movies; 
likewise, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler 
with comedies. There are still directors who 
specialize in certain genres: John Hughes 
in teen movies; Woody Allen in comedy; John 
Woo in action; and Wes Craven in horror. 

Over the years, well-loved conventions 
have become cliches, such as the good cowboy 
and the villain having a showdown on a dusty 
street, and so traditional genres have been 
reinterpreted, challenged, or satirized. Sam 
Peckinpah and Sergio Leone's Westerns can be 
termed revisionist, as can the film noirs of the 
Coen brothers. Audiences are familiar enough 
with genres to enjoy lampoons, such as Mel 
Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974) and Jay Roach's 
Austin Powers movies of the late 1990s. Despite 
auteur film (the personal expression of a 
director) being the antithesis of genre film, 
directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Jean- 
Pierre Melville, and Wong Kar Wai have used 
established genres for their own purposes. 



80 



MOVIE GENRES 




Action-adventure 

"Lights, camera, action" is the command given by the director at the 
beginning of each shot. Action films — often linked to adventure — tend 
to be real crowd-pleasers, with their combination of exciting storylines, 
physical action, and special effects. 



□ Film poster, 1981 



This type of film encompasses several genres- 
Westerns, war films, crime pictures, and even 
comedies. The style is associated with non-stop 
action— dramatic chases, shoot-outs, and 
explosions— often centered around a male hero 
struggling against terrible odds. Action films 
offer pure escapism and entertainment to the 
audience, and are regularly big box-office hits. 

It was in the 1980s that the action-adventure 
genre became established. The style inherited 
the law-and-order ideology from the "rogue cop" 
films of Clint Eastwood— such as the Dirty Harry 
movies— and the vigilante pictures of Charles 



Branson in the late 1 960s and 1 970s. Hollywood's 
big action films became increasingly gung-ho, 
with Top Gun (1986) as the apotheosis of renewed 
American power and confidence in the Reagan era. 
Among the action men who dominated the genre 
in the 1980s were Harrison Ford [Raiders of the 
Lost Ark, 1981), Bruce Willis [Die Hard, 1988), and 
Mel Gibson [Lethal Weapon, mi). 

□ Errol Flynn (right), as Robin Hood, faces Basil 
Rathbone, as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, in the exciting 
climax of Michael Curtiz's classic swashbuckler, 
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). The film was 
a huge hit for Warner Bros. 




ACTION ADVENTURE I 81 



Action heroes 

No hero came Larger or more testosterone-filled 
than former Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
Schwarzenegger made an impact in sword-and- 
sorcery fantasies [Conan the Barbarian, 1 982), 
science-fiction action [The Terminator, 1984), and 
military movies [Commando, 1985). An equally 
macho fantasy figure was Sylvester Stallone 
as a Vietnam vet in the jingoistic Rambo cycle. 
These films glorified the power of the individual 
to solve political and social problems through 
an entertaining combination of excessive 
musculature and firearms. 

Pre-1 960s action heroes were far more moral, 
and their code was to kill only in self-defense. 
Costume epics featured flamboyant characters 
played by actors such as Douglas Fairbanks, 
who swashbuckled his way through The Mark 
ofZorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921), and 
Robin Hood (1 922). Fairbanks' worthy successors 
were Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, and Stewart 
Granger in the US; while in France, Jean Marais, 
Gerard Philipe, and Jean-Paul Belmondo carried 
on the tradition. In Japan, Toshiro Mifune starred 
in numerous samurai films or jidai-geki, filled 
with furious swordplay. 

Gender roles 

Traditionally, action-adventure movies were 
aimed mostly at male audiences in their teens 
to mid-30s. The female characters in these 
films were generally shown as either having a 
restraining influence or fueling men's violence. 
In the 1 990s, however, a new style of action- 
adventure film began to appear, in which women 
played roles traditionally taken by men. In Ridley 
Scott's Thelma and Louise (1991), two women 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Mark of Zorro (Fred Niblo, US, 1920) 

The Adventures of Robin Hood 

(Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, US, 1938) 

The Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) 
Top Gun (Tony Scott, US, 1986) 
Lethal Weapon (Richard Donner, US, 1987) 
Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, US, 1991) 
Mission: Impossible (Brian De Palma, US, 1996) 
Kill Bill: Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino, US, 2003) 




□ Bruce Willis, 

as one-man army 
John McClane, 
survives various 
hair-raising stunts 
in the explosive action 
thriller Die Hard (1988). 



(played by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) 
go on a crime spree, while Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) 
added a tough female martial-arts expert to the 
buddy-buddy formula. The genre, however, is still 
male-dominated, and although the heroes are more 
clean-cut and cocky, such as Tom Cruise [Mission: 
Impossible, 1996) and Keanu Reeves [The Matrix, 
1999), they are still as lethal as in earlier films. 



□ Uma Thurman plays 
a ruthless warrior and 
former assassin, in 
Quentin Tarantino's Kill 
Bill: Volume 1 (2003). 





82 



MOVIE GENRES 



Animation 

Film animation encompasses a multitude of styles, themes, and 
techniques. From the simplest drawing by hand, to images created 
using the most up-to-date digital technology, the genre has always 
aimed to appeal to the widest possible age range. 




□ Gene Kelly dances 
with Tom and Jerry 
i n Anchors Aweigh 
(1945), a film that 
combines animation 
with Live action. 



□ Mickey Mouse is the 

sorcerer's apprentice 
in one of the most 
memorable musical 
sequences in Walt 
Disney's Fantasia (1940). 



In the mid-1 9th century, long before the invention 
of film, devices to give drawings an illusion of 
movement were already in use. In 1832, a Belgian, 
Joseph Plateau, invented a piece of equipment 
that produced a moving picture from a series of 
drawings. The action was viewed through slits 
on a revolving disk. In 1882, Emile Reynaud 
introduced his Praxinoscope to the audience 
at the Musee Grevin in Paris, using perforated 
film, which projected images on a screen. However, 
when live action film was invented, animation 
was neglected until 1908, when it was almost 
reinvented by American J. Stuart Blackton. He 
pioneered stop-motion photography, a technique 
taken up by Emile Cohl in France. Cohl made more 
than 100 brief animated films between 1908 and 
1 91 8, and created the first regular cartoon character. 

In 1909, Winsor McCay, an American cartoonist, 
created Gertie the Dinosaur using simple line 
drawing. It was the first animated cartoon to be 
shown as part of a theatrical program in the 
US. In 1918, he made probably the first animated 
feature, The Sinking of the Lusitania. 

The years 1 91 9-20 saw the emergence of the first 
cartoon production units. These turned out one-reel 
films about ten minutes long, which supported film 
programs. This was possible due to the labor- 
saving method of "eel" animation, which allowed 
the tracing of moving parts of characters on celluloid 



WHAT TO WATCH 




Steamboat Willie (Ub Iwerks, US, 1928) 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 

(David Hand and William Cottrell, US, 1937) 

Pinocchio 

(Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, US, 1940) 
Yellow Submarine (George Dunning, UK, 1968) 
Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, Japan, 1988) 
Toy Story (John Lasseter, US, 1995) 
Spirited A way (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001) 

Belleville Rendez-vous 

(Sylvain Chomet, France, 2003) 

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 

(Steve Box and Nick Park, UK, 2005) 

Wall-E (Andrew Stanton, US, 2008) 

Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, US, 2009) 

How to Train Your Dragon 

(Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, US, 2010) 



sheets without having to redraw the entire 
character and background for every frame of film. 
In the 1920s, Pat Sullivan's Felix the Cat reigned 
supreme— his witty thoughts given in bubbles— until 
the coming of sound transformed animated films. 

Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie (1928) was the 
first cartoon with sound. It demonstrated the force 
of music, not as background accompaniment, but 
as an element intrinsic to the film's structure and 
visual rhythm. From 1928, cartoon characters such 
as Max Fleischer's Betty Boop and Disney's Mickey 
Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy became as well- 
known as film stars. Disney's studio streamlined 
cartoon production and dominated Hollywood 
animation in the 1930s, consolidating its position 
with the hugely successful animation features Snow 
White and the Seven Dwarfs (1 937), Pinocchio (1 940), 
Fantasia (1940— the first film to use stereo sound 
commercially), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942). 

Dave Fleischer, whose Popeye shorts proved very 
popular from 1 933 to 1 947, tried to rival Disney's 
full-length cartoons with Gulliver's Travels (1939) 



ANIMATION I 83 



and HoppityGoes To Town (1941), but they were 
perhaps too sophisticated for children, and were 
not commercially successful. In the 1940s, 
MGM made headway with William Hanna and 
Joe Barbera's cartoon shorts featuring Tom and 
Jerry, which had jazzy sound effects, little dialogue, 
and zany violence as frustrated cat Tom eternally 
pursued resourceful mouse Jerry. Also at MGM, 
Tex Avery's anarchism was given free rein in 
a series of crazy cartoons that exploded the 
boundaries of the genre. Among the best of 
these cartoons were Screwbaii Squirrel (1 944) 
and King-Size Canary (1 947). 

At Warner Bros., Chuck Jones helped create Bugs 
Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck. Jones was also 
responsible for the Roadrunner/Coyote series in the 
1950s, noted for its speed and devastating use of 
the desert landscape. Another major force was UPA 
(United Productions of America), set up in 1 948 by 
a breakaway group of Disney animators. In reaction 
to the naturalistic graphic style and sentimentality 
of Disney, UPA developed freer, more economical, 
contemporary art styles. Among their most famous 
creations was Mr. Magoo. All this inventive cartoon 
work was halted with the proliferation of television, 
when studios began to devote their output almost 
entirely to low-budget, mass-produced cartoons. 




Animation abroad 

While the US was developing animation, other 
countries were also experimenting with the genre. 
In Canada, Norman McLaren used many techniques, 
such as drawing directly on film, mixing live action 
and drawings, and pixillation (the use of a stop- 
frame camera to speed up and distort movement). 
In Great Britain, Len Lye painted directly onto 
film stock, while John Halas and Joy Batchelor 
made Animal Farm (1955), the first British 
animated feature film. However, it was in the 
1990s that British animation was really put on 
the map by Aardman Animations with their 
plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit. 



□ Sylvain Chomet's 
Belleville Rendez-vous 

(2003) proved a huge 
success for French 
animation. Here, 
the elderly song-and- 
dance team make 
a comeback. 



□ Plasticine buddies— 

cheese-loving Wallace 
and his faithful dog 
Gromit— were the 
Oscar-winning creations 
of Nick Park and 
Aardman Animations. 



84 1 MOVIE GENRES 



□ Waltz with Bashir 

(2008), an animated 
documentary film from 
Israel, depicts director 
Ari Folman's attempts 
to reconstruct his 
memories of the 
1982 Lebanon War. 



m 



□ The green ogre and 

the talkative donkey 
were voiced by Mike 
Myers and Eddie 
Murphy, respectively, in 
the computer-animated 
S/?re/c(2001), which won 
the first Oscar for Best 
Animated Feature. 



After Aardman Animations' Nick Park and team won 
the Oscar for best short animation with The Wrong 
Trousers (1993), they were able to raise the finances 
to make Chicken Run (2000) and Wallace and Gromit: 
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). Meanwhile, 
France came up with a winner in Sylvain Chomet's 
exhilarating Belleville Rendez-vous (2003). 

In the former Czechoslovakia, puppet animator 
Jiri Trnka made his feature-length A Midsummer 
Night's Dream (1959) without dialogue, and Karel 
Zeman made ten features, some combining live 



actors with animated models and drawings. Jan 
Svankmajer, a graphic artist and puppeteer, made 
Alice [Neco zAlenky, 1988), which follows Lewis 
Carroll's heroine (played by an actress) through an 
animated land of wonders. The Zagreb animation 
studio in Croatia, formed in 1950, turned out a 
string of witty and inventive satires, while Polish 
animator Walerian Borowczyk made bitterly ironic 
films such as Mr. and Mrs. Kabais Theatre (1967). 

New talent 

In the US, after a decline in the quality of Disney 
animated features, there was a revival by a new 
crew of younger talents, who produced a string 
of hits unequalled since the 1940s, including 
Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King 
(1994). A new golden age of animation dawned at 
the beginning of the 21st century, leading to the 
creation of an Oscar for the Best Animated Feature. 
In 2003, it was awarded to Hayao Miyazaki's 
inventive Spirited A way. In 2004, Pixar Animation 
Studios won the award for The Incredibles. 




AVANT-GARDE 85 



Avant-Garde 

Avant-garde is a term applied to any experimental movement in the arts 
that is in opposition to conventional forms. In film, it specifically refers 
to a group of influential and radical filmmakers who were active across 
Europe from the end of World War I. 




^WHAT TO WATCH ~ 

L'lnhumaine (Marcel L'Herbier, France, 1924] 
Un Chien Andalou (Luis Bunuel, France, 1929] 
L'Age d'Or (Luis Bunuel, France, 1930) 



In 1918, French poet Louis Aragon wrote that 
"film must have a piace in the avant-garde's 
preoccupations. ..if one wants to bring some purity 
to the art of movement and Light". Critic Riccioto 
Canudo argued in 1926 that film should express 
the filmmaker's emotions as well as a character's 
psychology and even their unconscious. The 
formalist possibilities of film were expounded 
by French filmmakers and theorists Louis Delluc 
and Jean Epstein, and underlined by the montage 
theory of the great Russian filmmakers 
of the 1920s. 

Avant-garde film disturbed the accepted 
continuity of chronological development and 
attempted new ways of tracing the flow of the 
characters' thoughts. Collages of fragmentary 
images, complex allusions, and multiple points 
of view replaced logical explanation of meaning. 
Avant-garde artists such as Man Ray, Hans 
Richter, Fernand Leger, Oskar Fischinger, and 
Walter Ruttmann, made films influenced by 
such movements as German expressionism, 
Russian constructuralism, surrealism, and 
Dadaism. Salvador Dali's contribution to Luis 
Buhuel's Un Chien Andalou (1929) and LAge d'Or 
(1930) was invaluable. Marcel L'Herbier, with 
L'lnhumaine (1924) and LArgent (1928), hoped 
to create "visual music" by using sets created 
by modernist artists. 

By the 1930s, Hollywood filmmakers were 
experimenting too. Director and editor Slavko 
Vorkapich called his montage sequences 
"symphonies of visual movement," and dance 
director Busby Berkeley used overhead shots, 
trompe ioeil, superimposition, trick photography, 
and surreal settings in his musicals. 



The spirit of the avant-garde movement lived on 
in the American Underground and in the films of 
Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, and Jean-Marie 
Straub and his wife Daniele Huillet. The latter 
couple, in particular, have never swerved from 
making films that break away from accepted 
notions of realism, disengage from bourgeois 
values, and question the primacy of narration. 



□ Each set for Marcel 
L'Herbier's L'lnhumaine 
(1924) was created by 
a different designer, 
including Frenchman 
Fernand Leger. 



86 



MOVIE GENRES 



Biopic 

By its very nature, the biopic (biographical picture) exists across 
many genres. It could be a war film {Patton, 1970), an epic {Lawrence 
of Arabia, 1962), or a melodrama (Mommie Dearest 1981). Yet there 
are characteristics that mark the biopic out as a genre of its own. 




□ Joaquin Phoenix 

plays the role of country 
music legend Johnny 
Cash, and Reese 
Witherspoon plays 
singer June Carter in 
Walk the Line (2005). 





□ Film poster, 2006 



A biopic is essentially a dramatized portrayal 
of the life of a famous figure. In a conventional 
biopic, the protagonist falls from the height of fame 
and then goes on to make a triumphant comeback. 

It was German-born William Dieterle who 
set the pattern with numerous biopics. His most 
successful ones— The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936), 
The Life ofEmileZola (1937), and Juarez (1939)— 
starred a heavily made-up Paul Muni. The most 
archetypal biopics to follow were The Story of 
Alexander Graham Bell (1939) with Don Ameche; 
Young Tom Edison and Edison, the Man (both 1 940); 
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1 942) with James Cagney 
as composer-entertainer George M. Cohan; The 
Jolson Story (1 946); and A Song to Remember 
(1945), with Cornel Wilde as Chopin. 

A close resemblance between the actor and 
the real-life figure was achieved by Henry Fonda 
in Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Kirk Douglas as Van 
Gogh in Lust for Life (1956), Ben Kingsley in Gandhi 



(1982), and Anthony Hopkins in Nixon (1995). 
Joaquin Phoenix hit the right notes as Johnny 
Cash in Walk the Line (2005) and Jesse Eisenberg's 
wardrobe in The Social Network (2010) perfectly 
matched Mark Zuckerberg's. Some biopics focus 
on a single event that made a person famous, such 
as 127 Hours (2010), based on a dramatic incident 
in mountaineer Aron Ralston's life. 

JwHAT TO WATCH 

Young Mr. Lincoln (John Ford, US, 1939) 

Gandhi (Richard Attenborough, UK, 1982) 

A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard, US, 2001) 

The Aviator (Martin Scorsese, US, 2004) 

Ray (Taylor Hackford, US, 2004) 

The Last King of Scotland 
(Kevin Macdonald, UK, 2006) 

M/7/c(GusVanSant, US, 2008) 



COMEDY ' 87 



Comedy 

In its various forms, from visual slapstick to verbal repartee, comedy 
has been part of film ever since a naughty boy stepped on a hose in 
the Lumiere brothers' Watering the Gardener, in 1895. Since then, 
actors have employed many different ways to make us laugh. 



Comedy is one of the oldest theatrical genres. 
Originally derived from the commedia deliarte 
(improvised comedy from 1 6th-century Italy) and 
the burlesque, circus, and vaudeville traditions, 
it was better suited to silent movies than tragedy. 
Slapstick, which derives its name from the wooden 
sticks that circus clowns slapped together to 
generate audience applause, was predominant 
in the earliest silent films, since it didn't need 
sound to be effective. 

The first film comics 

Most of the earliest comedies were made by the 
French and, in 1907, the Pathe Company launched 
a series of films featuring the character Boireau, 
played by comedian Andre Deed— film's first 
true comic star. Other comedians followed, both 
in France and Italy, each with their own specific 
character. The most gifted and influential of all 
the comic artists was Max Linder from France. 
Charlie Chaplin called him "the Professor to 
whom I owe everything." 

While the other comic stars were manic and 
grotesque, Linder adopted the character of a 
handsome young boulevardier, a bemused dandy 
with sleek hair, a trimmed moustache, and a silk hat 
that survived all catastrophes. By 1 91 0, Linder was 
making one film a week, playing the character of a 
wealthy bachelor in hopeless pursuit of well-bred, 
pretty ladies. Just a year later, he was the highest- 
paid entertainer of the time, writing and directing 
his own films and enjoying fame across Europe. 

Early US comics 

It was not until 1912 that US comedy emerged, with 
Mack Sennett's films for the Keystone company 
and, famously, the Keystone Kops. In five years, 
Sennett established the type of rapid, irreverent 
comedy forever associated with his name. Using 
fast motion, reverse action, and other camera and 
editing tricks, he usually ended his films with a 
death-defying chase, with many stunts executed 
by the comics themselves. Sennett filmed Mabel 




Normand and Fatty Arbuckle in the first custard 
pie-throwing scene known in film, in A Noise from 
the Deep (1913). He also made the first feature- 
length comedy, Tillies Punctured Romance (1914), 
starring Marie Dressier and Charlie Chaplin. 

The four giants of American silent comedy- 
Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry 
Langdon— all emerged from one- or two-reelers to 
make features in the 1920s. Whereas Chaplin was 
cocky, Keaton stoical, and Lloyd foolhardy, Langdon 
cultivated the character of what writer and film 
critic James Agee called "an elderly baby." With his 
white moon face and innocent, morose demeanor, 
he seldom instigated any of the chaos around him. 
Harold Lloyd's stunt in Safety Last! (1923), in which 
he hung precariously on the side of a skyscraper, 
introduced a comedy of cheap thrills. Although he 
is now best known for his daredevil feats, only five 
of the 300 films Lloyd made contain such scenes. 



□ Charlie, The Little 
Tramp, struggles 
to survive, in one of 
Chaplin's best-loved 
shorts, A Dog's 
Life (1918). 



□ The Keystone Kops, 

a famous slapstick 
troupe, pose for the 
camera in 1912. Many 
famous faces started 
their careers in the 
Kops, including Fatty 
Arbuckle (far right). 




88 



MOVIE GENRES 




D Film poster, 1978 



Visual gags 

Although the coming of sound diminished 
slapstick comedy, the tradition of visual 
gags was continued by the teams of Stan 
Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the 1930s, 
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the 
1940s, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 
in the 1 950s. Peter Sellers fell about as 
the maladroit Inspector Clouseau in 
Blake Edwards' Pink Panther series, 
first made in the 1960s. In France, 
the pratfall tradition was carried "on by Jacques 
Tati, Pierre Etaix, and Louis De Funes; and in Italy 
by Toto. More recent examples include the Police 
Academy films of the 1980s, Jim Carrey \r\Ace 
Ventura Pet Detective and The Mask (both 1994), and 
the "gross out" comedies of the Farrelly Brothers, 
such as There's Something About Mary (1998). 

The birth of the wisecrack 

The leading exponent of the wisecracking comedies 
that inevitably came with the talkies was the bibulous 
irascible, raspy-voiced W.C. Fields, two of his best 
films being The Bank Dick (1 940) and Never Give 
a Sucker an Even Break (1941). Fields co-starred 
with Mae West in My Little Chickadee (1940), a 
spoof Western, in which they exploited their unique 
comic personae. West, with her ample hourglass 
figure, was a sashaying parody of a sex symbol 
and the mistress of sexual innuendo, and one of 
the few comediennes to make it big in the movies. 
Her racy wisecracks in She Done Him Wrong and 



I'm No Angel (both 1933) resulted in the 
formation of the Motion Picture Production 
Code. West responded by resorting to double- 
entendre to make her comedy a little less direct. 

The Marx Brothers broke into film in 1929 with 
The Cocoanuts, but they had been performing on 
stage long before that. Four of the brothers— 
Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo— had been 
in vaudeville since childhood, and by the 1920s, 
had become one of the most popular theatrical 
acts in the US. Uninhibited and irrepressible, they 
conveyed a sense of spontaneity as they disrupted 
everything around them with their unique brand 
of surreal, madcap humor. Although there were 
originally five brothers in the act, three soon took 
center stage. Groucho's witticisms, Harpo's dumb 
show, and Chico's massacre of the English language 
combined several traditions of comedy. An anarchic 
spoof on warfare, Duck Soup (1933), directed by Leo 
McCarey, is considered by many to be their finest 
picture. Love Happy (1 949) was the last film they 
worked on together. 

Groucho Marx was a potent influence on Woody 
Allen (see p. 182). Another was Bob Hope, who, 
in 1 940, teamed up with Bing Crosby and Dorothy 
Lamour to make seven hilarious Road To... pictures. 

Screwball comedy 

Screwball comedy was a unique creation of 
Hollywood in the 1930s. Its main elements were 
irreverent humor, fast-paced action and dialogue, 
and eccentric characters— generally the idle rich. 



[ 



LAUREL AND HARDY 



English-born Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and American 
Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) are the most famous and 
best-loved comedy team ever. They are at their hilarious 
best in more than 60 short films that they made together 
from 1927, such as The Music Box (1932), in which they 
try to deliver a piano up a huge flight of stairs. Their 
bowler hats and suits are symbols of their pretentions 
to middle-class respectability, but their innocence, 
Stan's clumsiness, Ollie's delusions of grandeur, 
and their constant squabbling mark them out as 
overgrown children. 

Stan and Ollie established their complementary 
characters early on, with Hardy's famous glare 
at the camera, and baffled Laurel scratching 
his head and crying. 





COMEDY ' 89 



The improbable plots commonly focused on the 
battle of the sexes. An archetypal film is Gregory La 
Cava's My Man Godfrey (1936), which tells of a man 
(William Powell) from a shantytown who becomes 
butler to a wealthy family, straightens out their lives, 
and marries their scatterbrained daughter (Carole 
Lombard). Other screwball comedy gems were 
Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1 934, the first 
film to win all five major Oscars), with Claudette 
Colbert as a runaway heiress and Clark Gable as a 
hard-boiled reporter; Mitchell Leisen's Easy Living 
(1937) and Midnight (1939); and Leo McCarey's 



The Awful Truth (1937). Howard Hawks directed 
the madcap Bringing Up Baby (1 938) with Cary Grant 
and Katharine Hepburn— and a leopard in the title 
role; and the irreverent, fast-paced His Girl Friday 
(1940), also starring Cary Grant. Preston Sturges' 
social comedies continued in a similar vein into the 
1 940s, but with the advent of World War II, frivolity 
and social ridicule seemed inappropriate. 

The 1950s saw more sophisticated, harder-edged 
comedies such as Joseph Mankiewicz's All About 
Eve (1950) and several Katharine Hepburn-Spencer 
Tracy films in which they took the battle of the 




Q The Marx Brothers 

demonstrate their 
musical skills in an 
MGM studio publicity 
still - Harpo on harp, 
Chico on piano, and 
Groucho on trombone. 



90 



MOVIE GENRES 




lis 7* 



KATHARINE 
HEPBURN 




Q Film poster, 1949 



□ Michel Serrault 

camps it up in La Cage 
auxFoUes[mS),a 
French farce set in 
St. Tropez, which was 
transplanted to Miami 
in the remake, The 
Birdcage (1996). 



sexes to a new Level, particularly in George 
Cukor's Adam's Rib (1949). The latter could 
be seen as a forerunner of the glossy Rock 
Hudson-Doris Day movies: Pillow Talk 
(1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send 
Me No Flowers (1 964), and other romantic 
comedies of the 1960s and beyond. The 
formula for these "rom-coms" (or "chick 
flicks," as they would be dubbed a few 
decades later) was"boy meets girl, boy 
loses girl, boy gets girl." This was a durable 
formula, as evidenced by later variations, such as 
Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally (1989), Garry 
Marshall's Pretty Woman (1990), Mike Newell's Four 
Weddings and a Funeral (1994), James L. Brooks' 
As Good as It Gets (1 997), and Nancy Meyers' 
Something's Gotta Give (2003). 

Ealing comedy 

Long before British comedies became internationally 
popular in the 1990s, Britain had made the delightful 
Ealing comedies from the 1940s to the 1950s. These 
included Charles Crichton's The Lavender Hill Mob 
(1951), and Alexander MacKendrick's The Man in 
the White Suit (1 951 ) and The Ladykillers (1 955), 
all of which starred Alec Guinness. He also played 
eight different roles in Robert Hamer's Kind Hearts 
and Coronets (1949). In 2004, The Ladykillers was 
remade by the Coen brothers. 

Satire 

Parallel to Hollywood romantic comedies were 
black satires, such as Stanley Kubrick's Dr. 
Strangelove (1964) and Robert Altman's M*A*S*H 
(1 970); the more genial genre spoofs of Mel Brooks' 
Blazing Saddles (1 974) and Young Frankenstein 




(1974); the wacky humor of Jim Abrahams' 
and the Zucker brothers' Airplane! (1 980) 
and The Naked Gun series (1 988-91 ); as well 
as Mike Myers' deliciously silly Austin Powers 
movies (1 999-2002)— parodies of the 
James Bond films. 

Although a number of "naughty" French 
comedies were shown widely in the 1 960s, 
it was La Cage aux Folles (1 978)— Edouard 
Molinaro's drag queen farce— that broke 
all box office records in the US for a foreign 
language film to that date. Hollywood remade 
it as The Birdcage (1 996), along with a number of 
other French comedies, such as Coline Serreau's 
Three Men and a Cradle [Trois Hommes et un 
Couffin, 1985), which became Three Men and 
a Baby (1 987). Italian comedy became popular 
abroad after the success of Mario Monicelli's 
Big Deal on Madonna Street (/ Soliti Ignoti, 1 958) 
about a group of useless crooks trying to carry 
out a heist. It was remade by Louis Malle in 
a California setting, as Crackers (1984), and 
was the inspiration behind Woody Allen's 
SmallTime Crooks (2000). 

The US comedians that came to the fore in the 
1980s and 1990s included Eddie Murphy [Trading 
Places, 1983), Steve Martin (LA Story, 1991), and 
Jim Carrey [The Cable Guy, 1996). Each, in their own 
way, continued the genre and displayed a flair for 
broad, visual comedy rather than elegant, verbal wit. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The General 

(Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, US, 1927) 
Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, US, 1933) 
His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, US, 1940) 
The Ladykillers 

(Alexander Mackendrick, UK, 1955) 

The Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, US, 1963) 

Annie Hall (Woody Allen, US, 1977) 

Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, 
and Jerry Zucker, US, 1980) 

Four Weddings and a Funeral 
(Mike Newell, UK, 1994) 

The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, UK, 1997) 

Meet the Parents (Jay Roach, US, 2000) 

Bridget Jones's Diary (Sharon Maguire, UK, 2001) 

The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, US, 2006) 



COSTUME DRAMA I 91 



Costume Drama 

The classic costume drama, or period piece, derives from literary 
sources. The best examples of the genre are typified by lavish costumes 
and design that succeed in capturing, in meticulous detail, the ambience 
of the particular era in which they are set. 



Becky Sharp (1935) was the first Technicolor 
feature film and the sixth adaptation of William 
Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair. The most 
visually striking moment in the film was the ball 
scene, which showed off the women's gorgeous 
gowns and the soldiers' red uniforms to great 
effect. Technicolor and costume dramas were 
made for each other, but the marriage was only 
consummated in 1939 with Gone With the Wind. 

In 1938, Bette Davis had won the Best Actress 
Oscar for her performance as the spoiled Southern 
belle Julie Marsden in William Wyler's Jezebel (1938), 
set in pre-Civil War New Orleans. In one scene, 
Davis arrives at a ball— at which unmarried girls 
traditionally wear white— dressed in a scarlet gown, 
to scandalize the assembled company. The impact of 
this single splash of color was brilliantly suggested 
by Ernest Haller's black-and-white photography. 

Melodrama 

Gainsborough Pictures in England made a series 
of melodramatic period pieces in the 1940s with 
Margaret Lockwood, James Mason, Phyllis Calvert, 
and Stewart Granger. Examples include Leslie 
Arliss' The Man in Grey (1 943) and The Wicked Lady 
(1945). Two decades later, Tony Richardson's bawdy 
Oscar-winning version of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones 
(1963) captured a similar spirit. In the 1980s, James 
Ivory made refined costume dramas, adapted from 
the novels of Henry James and E.M. Forster. 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

Jezebel (William Wyler, US, 1938) 

Les En f ants du Paradis 
(Marcel Came, France, 1945) 

Senso (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1954) 

Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, UK, 1975) 

Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears, US, 1988) 

Howards End (James Ivory, UK, 1992) 

Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee, UK/US, 1995) 

Bright Star (Jane Campion, Various, 2009) 




Across the world 

Unusually, Martin Scorsese entered Ivory territory 
with The Age of Innocence (1993). Other leading 
directors who made rare ventures into the genre 
were Stanley Kubrick with Barry Lyndon (1975); 
Ingmar Bergman with Fanny and Alexander (1982); 
Peter Greenaway with The Draughtsman's Contract 
(1982); Stephen Frears with Dangerous Liaisons 
(1988); and Mike Leigh with Topsy-Turvy (1999). 
In Italy, Luchino Visconti made two historical 
romances: Senso (1954) and The Leopard (1963). 
In the 1990s, France turned out a string of them, 
including Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Cyrano de 
Bergerac (1 990) and The Horseman on the Roof 

(1 995) , and Patrice Chereau's La Peine Margot (1 994). 

Jane Austen mania 

The 1 990s saw a renewed interest in Jane Austen. 
Roger Michell's Persuasion (1995), Ang Lee's Sense 
and Sensibility (1995), Douglas McGrath's Emma 

(1996) , Patricia Rozema's Mansfield Park (1999), 
and Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice (2005) were 
made, as well as an Indianized version, Gurinder 
Chadha's Bride & Prejudice (2004). 



Q Reese Witherspoon 

as Becky Sharp in Mira 
Nair's 2004 adaptation 
of William Makepeace 
Thackeray's Vanity Fair. 



92 



MOVIE GENRES 



Cult 

The term "cult movie" denotes any film that, for a reason unallied 
to its intrinsic artistic quality, has attracted obsessive devotion 
from a group of fans. The expression "so bad it's good" is often 
used to describe many cult movies. 



In the final scene 

of The Wicker Man 
(1973), police sergeant 
Howie, played by 
Edward Woodward, 
is dragged inside the 
wicker statue of a 
man and set on fire, 
as a ritual sacrifice. 




□ The poster for 

Attack of the 50ft. 
Woman (1958) shows 
Allison Hayes turned 
into a giant; she wreaks 
havoc and eventually 
crushes her cheating 
husband to death. 




Considered one of the worst film directors of 
all time, Edward D. Wood has gathered a cult 
following. So cheap were Wood's films that the 
spaceships in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) were 
represented by spinning hubcaps and paper plates. 

Reefer Madness (1936) was a propaganda film 
made by a religious group to warn of the dangers 
of marijuana. The movie follows a group of dope 
peddlers who turn clean-cut teenagers into raving 
lunatics by giving them a puff of "the demon weed." 
Reefer Madness remained in obscurity for nearly 
40 years until its re-release in 1972. It became 
a camp hit, especially among the pot-smoking 
youth— the very people it had aimed to alarm. 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), combining 
the conventions of science fiction, horror movies, 
and musicals, with elements of transvestism and 
homosexuality, attracted fans, dressed as characters 
from the film, to midnight screenings. Russ Meyer's 
"nudie-cutie" films also gained a cult following, 
especially Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1 965). 



Gaining more of a following among gay audiences 
was John Waters' Pink Flamingos (1 972), starring 
drag superstar Divine. 

Cultists revel in films with ludicrous titles, 
such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1 964) or 
Attack of the 50ft Woman (1958). A more mainstream 
film would occasionally catch people's imagination, 
such as Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and 
Bruce Robinson's acidly witty Withnail and I (1987). 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

Plan 9 from Outer Space (Edward D. Wood, US, 1958) 
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer, US, 1965) 
Pink Flamingos (John Waters, US, 1972) 
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, UK, 1973) 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 

(JimSharman, UK, 1975) 

Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, UK, 1987) 
Fight Club (David Fincher, US/Germany, 1999) 



DISASTER 93 



Disaster 

The heyday of the disaster movie was the 1970s, the decade in which 
this sub-genre of action movies reached its zenith. A string of films were 
released, featuring stellar casts threatened by earthquakes, sinking ships, 
fires, air crashes, tidal waves, and other catastrophes. 



The success of Airport (1970)— in which an airliner 
comes under a bomb threat— spawned three 
sequels and the spoof Airplane! (1980). It aiso 
initiated a cycle of disaster movies that included 
Earthquake (1974), a film made in Sensurround, 
a process that gave audiences the sensation 
of a minor tremor at certain climactic moments. 

Taking advantage of this vicarious enjoyment 
of others in peril and of the latest special effects 
was producer Irwin Allen, dubbed "The Master 
of Disaster." He produced The Poseidon Adventure 
(1972), in which Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, 
and Ernest Borgnine, among others, try to escape 
from a capsized luxury liner; and The Towering 
Inferno (1974), in which Paul Newman and Steve 
McQueen battle to rescue people from a burning 
138-story hotel. 

These films actually formed part of a second wave 
of disaster movies. The first included San Francisco 
(1 936), In Old Chicago (1 937), and The Rains Came 
(1939)— an earthquake, a fire, and a flood feature 



WHAT TO WATCH 



4/rporf (George Seaton, US, 1970) 
The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, US, 1972) 
The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin, US, 1974) 
Independence Day (Roland Emmerich, US, 1996) 
Titanic (James Cameron, US, 1997) 



as the respective climaxes of each movie— unlike the 
films of the 1 970s, where the disasters were central 
to the plot. The genre faded after Allen followed his 
triumphs with the risible The Swarm (1 978), in which 
Michael Caine battles killer bees, and Beyond The 
Poseidon Adventure (1979), featuring Caine again, 
now trying to loot the ship. 

There was a revival of disaster movies 
in the mid-1990s with Independence Day (1996), 
Titanic [mi], Armageddon (1998), and The Day 
After Tomorrow (2004), all benefitting from the 
arrival of computer-generated imagery (CGI). 



□ Jake Gyllenhaal 

stars in The Day After 
Tomorrow (2004), 
Roland Emmerich's 
big-budget warning 
about the effects 
of global warming 
on the planet. 




94 



MOVIE GENRES 




Documentary 



The documentary, or non-fiction film, goes back to the very beginning 
of film history Since undergoing a renaissance and becoming more 
popular than ever at the beginning of the 21st century, the genre 
could be considered the most enduring of all film forms. 



□ Man with a Movie 
Camera (1929), Dziga 
Vertov's experimental 
film, portrays Life in the 
former Soviet Union. 



□ Impoverished 
fisherman Colman 
"Tiger" King and his 
family struggle to survive 
in Robert J. Flaherty's 
Man of Aran (1934). 



John Grierson, the leading force behind the 
British documentary movement in the 1930s, 
defined this type of film as "the creative 
treatment of actuality." 

Documentaries dominated film in its early 
years, but after 1 908, they became secondary to 
fiction films. It was not until immediately after 
the Russian Revolution (1917) that they began to 
be taken more seriously, when propaganda pictures 
were sent across the vast country on "agitprop" 
(agitation and propaganda) trains to educate the 
masses about Communism. Filmmaker Dziga 
Vertov edited a series of "agitprop" films called 
Kino-Pravda (Cinema Truth) between 1922 and 
1925. These were created from newsreel 
sequences to which he added slow or reverse 
motion, animation, texts, and still photographs. 

In contrast to the didactic Russian films 
were American Robert Flaherty's ethnological 
documentaries, such as Nanook of the North (1922). 
The future directors of King Kong (1933), Merian C. 
Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, directed two 
exotic adventure-travel movies: Grass (1925), 




following the people of a Persian tribe during their 
annual migration, and Chang (1927), the story of a 
Thai family's struggle to survive life with a herd of 
elephants. In Germany, Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: 
Symphony of a Great City (1927), an impressionistic 
view of a day in the German capital, was shot using 
cameras hidden in a moving van and in suitcases, 
to catch people unawares. Vertov used all the 
techniques of film at his disposal to make Man with 
a Movie Camera (1929), a filmed poem of a Soviet 
city. These experimental movies were part of an 
effort to distance documentaries from the style 
of fiction films. 

Social comment 

In Western Europe and the US, documentaries 
highlighted social and environmental problems. 
In the UK, the Crown Film Unit developed under 
Grierson, who believed that film should have 
a social purpose. The unit produced some of the 
most outstanding documentaries of the 1930s, 
including Alberto Cavalcanti's Coal Face (1935); 
and Basil Wright and Harry Watt's Night Mail 
(1936), both of which included W.H. Auden's 
verse and Benjamin Britten's music. 

In the US, Pare Lorentz's The fl/Ver (1938) 
showed the effects of soil erosion in the Mississippi 
Basin. The film won the Best Documentary award 
at the Venice Film Festival, beating Leni Riefenstahl's 
Olympia (1938), a movie about the 1936 Berlin 
Olympics. Dutch-born Joris Ivens' The Spanish 
Earth (1937), with narration written and spoken by 
Ernest Hemingway, was one of the several films 
that supported the Republican cause during the 
Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The outbreak of 
World War II took both fiction and documentary 
filmmakers, on both sides, into the field of 
propaganda. The end of the war saw a drop in 
the output of documentary films in the West. 
Firstly, they had become too closely associated 
with wartime propaganda, and secondly, television 
documentaries were gaining prominence. It 
took more than 1 5 years for the crisis to pass. 



DOCUMENTARY I 95 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Man with a Movie Camera 
(Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) 



Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, France, 1955) 
Don't Look Back [DA. Pennebaker, US, 1967) 

The Sorrow and the Pity 

(Marcel Ophuls, France, 1969) 

Bowling for Columbine 

(Michael Moore, US, 2002) 

Capturing the Friedmans 

(Andrew Jarecki, US, 2003) 

The Story of the Weeping Camel (Byambasuren 
Dava and Luigi Falorini, Germany, 2003) 

March of the Penguins 

(Luc Jacquet, France, 2005) 

An Inconvenient Truth 

(Davis Guggenheim, US, 2006) 



Films of truth 

In late 1950s England, Free Cinema— a movement 
that began with a series of shorts describing mostly 
working-class people and places— launched the 
careers of Lindsay Anderson, Tony Richardson, 
and Karel Reisz. In France, Alain Resnais' career 
began with several remarkable short art films, 
including Van Gogh (1948), Guernica (1950), and 
Night and Fog (1955), a devastating documentary 
about Nazi concentration camps. Georges Franju's 
powerful Blood of the Beasts [Le Sang des Betes, 
1949) showed the daily slaughter of animals in 
a slaughterhouse juxtaposed with everyday life in 
Paris. Other filmmakers who have contributed to 
the cinema verite (the cinema of truth) movement 
include Chris Marker and Jean Rouch. The latter 
held that the camera's intervention stimulated 
people to greater spontaneity. 

In the US, Direct Cinema was developed 
in the early 1960s, by a group of filmmakers, 
notably Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, 
and the Maysles brothers, Albert and David. 
Like cinema verite filmmakers, exponents of 
Direct Cinema aiso believed that the camera 
should unobtrusively record the "truth." 

Fred Wiseman, a leading exponent of Direct 
Cinema, eavesdropped on many institutions 
in films such as High School (1968), Juvenile 
Court (1973), and Welfare (1975). Pennebaker's 
Don't Look Back (1967)— a behind-the-scenes 
look at Bob Dylan's British concert tour— started 



a trend for "rockumentaries." In this vein, 
Michael Wadleigh's Woodstock (1970) 
stands out, and won the Oscar for Best 
Documentary Feature. 

Reportage 

From the late 1 960s, there was a gradual move 
away from cinema verite and the recording 
of reality, toward historical reporting and 
investigative exposes. These included Marcel 
Ophuls' four-and-haif-hour The Sorrow and 
the Pity (1969), which builds up a complex 
picture of France under the occupation. 
Ophuls' Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times 
of Klaus Barbie (1988) was a disturbing portrait 
of the "Butcher of Lyon," while Claude Lanzmann's 
Shoah (1985) gave an insight into the Holocaust. 
Errol Morris' investigation into a 1976 murder, 
The Thin Blue Line (1988), helped free an innocent 
man from death row, and his Fog of War (2003) 
put in the confessional the man who was the US 
Defense Secretary during the Vietnam conflict. No 
less serious were Michael Moore's examinations of 
America's dark side: Roger and Me (1989), Bowling 
for Columbine (2002), and Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). 

Documentaries now compete with fiction 
films at the box office. Etre et Avoir (2002), the 
story of an inspirational rural school teacher 
in France; Spellbound (2002), about children 
competing in the US National Spelling Bee; 
and Super Size Me (2004), Morgan Spurlock's 
take on fast-food and obesity in the US, were 
all international commercial hits. 




□ March of the 
Penguins (2005), 
a nature documentary 
from France, portrays 
the annual journey of 
emperor penguins 
across Antarctica. 



□ Nicolas Philibert's 
Etre et Avoir (2002) is 
a delightful portrait 
of George Lopez, 
a dedicated rural 
school teacher. He 
is seen here with 
the impish Jojo. 




96 



MOVIE GENRES 



Epic 



□ In the celebrated 

20-minute chariot race 
in Ben-Hur (1959), 8,000 
extras watched Charlton 
Heston in the title role, 
on an 18-acre set. 



Narratives in the epic tradition surpass the ordinary in scale and 
reach heroic proportions. This applies to the film genre too. Epic movies 
typically feature vast panoramas, with hundreds of extras, and are likely 
to be historical or Biblical stories containing spectacular scenes. 



The first film to be worthy of the title of epic 
was Cabiria (19U), a huge spectacle made in 
Italy. It followed the adventures of a slave girl 
during the Second Punic War in about 200bce. 
Its great success in the US inspired D.W. Griffith 
to embark on his large-scale productions— The 
Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916). 
However, it was Cecil B. DeMille who became 
most associated with epics, with a series of 
films that started with The Ten Commandments 
(1923), and went on to his 1956 remake of the 
same film. Fred Niblo's Ben-Hur (1925) featured 
a spectacular sea battle and a breathtaking 
chariot race (replicated in William Wyler's 
1959 version of the film). 



Politics and epics 

Sometimes, epic films had a topicality. In the 
USSR, Sergei Eisenstein and Dmitri Vasilyev's 
Alexander Nevsky (1938), made under threat of 
Nazi invasion, told of how the hero defended 
Holy Russia in the 13th century against brutal 
Teutons. The film inspired Laurence Olivier's 
Henry V/ (1 94-4), made when Britain was preparing 
to launch an invasion of German-occupied France. 

In the 1940s, MGM head Dore Scharywas 
eager to adapt Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel 
about Roman dictator Nero to film. He wanted 
to equate Nero with modern dictators. However, 
the hit $8-million movie Quo Vadis was not 
made until 1951. 




epic ' 97 




Filling the screen 

It was apt that the first feature film in CinemaScope 
(see p.34) was The Robe (1 953), a Biblical epic that 
began a renaissance of epics that filled the vast 
screen. Among the biggest and best were Howard 
Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs (1955), King Vidor's 
War and Peace (1956), Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus 
(1960), and Anthony Mann's ElCid (1961). From 1958, 
Italy made several "sword and sandal" movies with 
famous bodybuilders, such as Steve Reeves, who 
played Hercules and other mythological heroes. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Birth of a Nation (D.W.Griffith, US, 1915] 

Alexander Nevsky (Sergei M. Eisenstein and 
Dmitri Vasilyev, USSR, 1938] 

The Robe (Henry Koster, US, 1 953) 

The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, US, 1956] 

Ben-Hur (William Wyler, US, 1959] 

Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1960] 

Doctor Zhivago (David Lean, US, 1965) 

Gladiator (Ridley Scott, US, 2000] 

Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, Various, 2005] 



Epic costs 

At a cost of around $40 million, Cleopatra (1 963) 
took more than four years to shoot in Rome, nearly 
bankrupting Twentieth Century Fox in the process. 
Yet studios were still willing to invest in epics. 
Director David Lean made the leap from small 
black-and-white British pictures to long, lavish 
films, such as Doctor Zhivago (1965). Akira 
Kurosawa's impressive 
Kagemusha (1980) was 
completed only with the 
assistance of his American 
producers. Michael 
Ci mi no's Heaven's Gate 
(1980) was the biggest 
flop of all time, costing 
United Artists $44 million 
and earning only $1 .5 
million at the box office. 
A new cycle of epics kicked 
off with Mel Gibson's Braveheart (1 995), 
and continued with Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) 
starring Russell Crowe and Wolfgang Petersen's 
Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt, both of which included 
computer-generated effects. 



□ Akira Kurosawa's 

epic Kagemusha (1980) 
follows a thief who 
poses as a clan leader 
to confuse his enemy. 
It was the most 
expensive Japanese 
movie of the time. 




B Cleopatra (1963) 
was panned by the 
critics and avoided 
by filmgoers, but 
made its money back. 



98 



MOVIE GENRES 



Film Noir 

"Film noir" is a term that French film critics originally applied to the dark, 
doom-laden, black-and-white Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s — such 
as The Maltese Falcon (1941) — which were seen in French movie theaters 
for the first time after World War II. 





The roots of film noir can be seen in the German 
expressionist films of the 1920s and 1930s, such 
as Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 
and Fritz Lang's M (1931). The style and subject 
matter were aiso influenced by certain French 
films of the 1930s, including Jean Renoir's 
La Chienne (1 931 ) and La Bete Humaine (1 938). 
Both were remade by Fritz Lang as noirs in 
Hollywood, as Scarlet Street (1945) and Human 
Desire (1954) respectively. 



Noir in American society 

The low-key lighting, off-center camera angles, 
and shadowy, claustrophobic atmosphere were 
imported to the US by emigre filmmakers, 
such as Lang, Robert Siodmak [Phantom Lady, 
1944), Jacques Tourneur [Out of the Past, 1947), 
Otto Preminger {Fallen Angel, 1945), Billy Wilder 
[Double Indemnity, 1944), and Edgar Ulmer 
[Detour, 1 945), all of whom made some of the 
best film noirs. The style may have originated 
in Europe, but the subject matter was found in 
urban America and was inspired by hard-boiled 
crime writers, including James M. Cain, 
Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, 
and Cornell Woolrich. 

□ Jane Greer plays a femme fatale who has 
caught Robert Mitchum in her web in Out of 
the Past (1947), which was released in the 
UK as Build My Gallows High. 



I WHAT TO WATCH 



Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, US, 1944] 

Fallen Angel (Otto Preminger, US, 1945) 

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, US, 1946) 

Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, US, 1955) 

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, US, 1958) 

Chinatown (Roman Polanski, US, 1974) 

LA. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, US, 1997) 

Sin City (Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, 
US, 2005) 




CHIAROSCURO 



The word chiaroscuro comes from the Italian 
chiaro (bright) and oscuro (dark). It was first 
used to refer to the use of Light and shade in 
paintings. The bold contrast between Light and 
shade in cinematography gave film noirs their 
Look and atmosphere. The effect is seen here 
in a scene from The Killers (1946), featuring 
Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. 




Robert Siodmak's The Killers (1946) 
was partly based on a short story by Ernest 
Hemingway. Burt Lancaster made his screen 
debut in the film, as Ole "Swede" Andersen. 



Film noir developed during and after World 
War II, in the context of post-war anxiety and 
cynicism. The almost exclusively male anti- 
heroes of the genre, many of whom were 
private eyes, shared this malaise. They were 
disillusioned loners roaming through dark 
alleyways, rundown hotels, cheerless bars, 
and gaudy nightclubs. The detectives, the 
police, and the villains were all as corrupt 
and mercenary as each other. 

Hard-boiled anti-heroes 

Alan Ladd made a name for himself as the 
baby-faced killer in This Gun for Hire (1942), his 
first film opposite vampish Veronica Lake. The 
couple teamed up again in The Glass Key (1942), 
based on Dashiell Hammett's novel, and The Blue 
Dahlia (1946), scripted by Raymond Chandler. 



Chandler's cynical private eye, Philip 
Marlowe, was portrayed most memorably 
by Humphrey Bogart in Howard Hawks' 
The Big Sleep (1946). 

Chandler also co-wrote the script for 
Double Indemnity, the archetypal noir, 
in which an insurance salesman (Fred 
MacMurray) is led into fraud and murder 
by the amoral and seductive Barbara 
Stanwyck. Many film noirs center around 
a weak man whose life is ruined when 
he gets caught in a web of passion, 
deceit, and murder, by a beautiful and 
charming— but unscrupulous and 
double-dealing— femme fatale. 

Post-noir and neo-noir 

By the early 1950s, the classic period of 
film noir had ended, but there were isolated 
examples of the genre still being made, such 
as Robert Aid ri c h 's Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and 
Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958). 

In the 1960s, Jean-Pierre Melville kept film 
noir alive in France with his crime thrillers. 
Some years later, a number of post- and neo- 
noirs appeared in the US. 

Notable among these were Robert Altman's 
The Long Goodbye (1973); Roman Polanski's 
Chinatown (1974); Lawrence Kasdan's Body 
Heat (1981); the Coen brothers' Blood Simple 
(1984); and Curtis Hanson's LA. Confidential 
(1997). All of these movies paid homage to 
film noirs of the past. 




□ Film poster, 1944 



Clive Owen (left) 
roughs up Benicio Del 
Toro in Sin City (2005). 




100 



MOVIE GENRES 




Gangster 



|NfMV 

Q Film poster, 1931 



James Cagney stars 
as "Rocky" Sullivan, 
a hoodlum who proves 
to be a bad influence 
on the Dead End Kids 
in Angels With Dirty 
Faces (1938). 



The gangster movie came into being as a distinct genre in Prohibition 
America of the 1920s, when alcohol was banned and racketeers flourished. 
The crime films of the late 1920s and 1930s were updated to dramatic effect 
in the mob movies of the 1970s and 1990s. 



Although the gangster film came into its own only 
after the introduction of sound— guns blazing, cars 
screeching, and fast-paced, tough, and slangy 
dialogue— urban crime had provided material for 
this genre from film's earliest days. One of the first 
was D.W. Griffith's 17-minute The Musketeers of Pig 
4//ey(1912), set in a New York slum. Raoul Walsh, 
a former assistant to Griffith, made his first feature 
film Regeneration (1915), about a New York street 
gang. Later, in Germany, Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse 
The Gambler (1922), about a master criminal who 
tries to take over the world, portended the coming 
of Hitler. The first true gangster films, however, 
were Josef von Sternberg's Underworld (1 927, 
with George Bancroft); and Lewis Milestone's The 
Racket (1 928), both of which dealt with organized 
crime. Sternberg followed up with two more crime 
films starring Bancroft— The Dragnet (1928) and 
Thunderbolt (1 929), his first film with sound. 
Rouben Mamoulian's City Streets (1931), with 
Gary Cooper, featured the first sound flashback. 

New realism 

It was the cycle of gangster movies produced by 
Warner Bros, that achieved a new realism. Some 
were based on real incidents and living hoodlums. 
Mervyn LeRoy's Little Caesar (1931), depicting the 
rise and fall of a gang boss, was closely modeled 




on Al Capone. The final line, "Mother of Mercy, is 
this the end of Rico?" spoken by the dying Edward 
G. Robinson, was just the beginning of a Hollywood 
crime wave— 50 gangster movies were made in 
1 931 alone. Little Caesar made Robinson a star. 
James Cagney achieved the same status for 
William Wellman's Public Enemy (1 931 ), which 
includes the celebrated scene in which Cagney 
shoves half a grapefruit into Mae Clarke's face. 

There were complaints that these films endowed 
gangsters with a certain kind of glamor. When 
Howard Hawks' Scarface (1932) was released, 
it immediately ran into trouble with the censors. 
Some of the violent scenes had to be cut and the 
subtitle "Shame of the Nation" added. One of the 
great classics of the genre, Scarface starred Paul 
Muni as a brutish, childish, and arrogant racketeer. 
Brian De Palma directed a violent remake in 1983. 

In 1 934, the puritanical Production Code was 
enforced, stating that "crime will be shown to be 
wrong and that the criminal life will be loathed 
and that the law will at all times prevail." Villains 
could no longer be protagonists. Gangster films 
were, however, Hollywood's most profitable 
movies. So the studios switched to making law 
enforcement officers the heroes. Cagney and 
Robinson changed sides, though the movies 
were still about gangsters, and no less violent. 

William Wyler's Dead End (1937) and Michael 
Curtiz's^nge/s With Dirty Faces (1938) showed 
just what a bad influence a gangster can have 
on children. The stars of these films, Humphrey 
Bogart and James Cagney, faced each other in 
Raoul Walsh's The Roaring Twenties (1939), the 
documentary-style culmination of the Hollywood 
gangster cycle. 

The end of the era 

World War II saw the demise of the gangster movie, 
which reappeared in the 1940s in the guise of film 
noir (see pp. 98-99). Henry Hathaway's Kiss of Death 
(1947) introduced Richard Widmark to the screen 
as a giggling psychopathic killer. Walsh and Cagney 



GANGSTER 101 




Q Joe Pesci (center 
Left) plays a brutal 
gangster in Martin 
Scorsese's GoodFeUas 
(1990). His ruthlessness 
impresses small-time 
crook Ray Liotta (left). 



were reunited in White Heat (1 949), in which the 
latter played a murderer with a mother complex. 
Roger Corman picked up the genre in the late 
1 950s and 1 960s with Machine-Gun Kelly (1 958), 
starring Charles Bronson; and The St. Valentine's 
Day Massacre (1967). In France, Jacques Becker's 
influential Hands off the Loot! [Touchezpas au 
Grisbi, 1954), starring the magisterial Jean Gabin 
in the role of an aging gangster, was a precursor 
to Jean-Pierre Melville's crime dramas of the 
1960s. In 1960, both Jean-Luc Godard and 
Francois Truffaut paid homage to the American 
gangster picture, in Breathless [A bout de souffle] 
and Shoot the Pianist respectively. 

Akira Kurosawa did the same in Japan with 
two adaptations of Ed McBain cop novels: The 
Bad Sleep Well (1960) and High and Low (1963). 
There were also the yakuza (Japanese organized 
crime) films, such as Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter 
(1966), Kinji Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor 
and Humanity [1973} , and Takeshi Kitano's 
Fireworks [Hana-Bi, 1997). 

In the US, Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1 967) 
and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) 
gave a new direction to the genre, while Mean 
Streets (1973), featuring a group of small-town 
hoods, established Martin Scorsese's reputation. 
Scorsese went on to make GoodFeUas (1990), 



Casino (1995), and Gangs of New York (2002); 
the last had street gang warfare in 19th-century 
New York as its subject. 

Other directors— Sergio Leone [Once Upon a Time 
in America, 1984), Warren Beatty {Bugsy, 1991), and 
the Coen brothers [Miller's Crossing, 1990)— made 
successful gangster films; in the UK, Guy Ritchie 
started a trend of British crime movies with Lock, 
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1 998). Quentin 
Tarantino made the most impact on the genre, with 
Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994). Both 
recalled early Warner Bros, heist classics such as 
John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950). 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Little Caesar (Mervyn Leroy, US, 1931) 
Public Enemy (William Wellman, US, 1931) 
Angels With Dirty Faces (Michael Curtiz, US, 1938) 
Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, US, 1967) 
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, US, 1972) 
GoodFeUas (Martin Scorsese, US, 1990) 
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US, 1994) 
Snatch (Guy Ritchie, UK, 2000) 
Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, US, 2002) 
Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes, US, 2002) 




D Film poster, 1994 



MOVIE GENRES 




□ Boris Karloff 

stars as the monster 
in James Whale's 
Frankenstein (1931), 
a performance that 
was both touching and 
poetic. The striking 
make-up was devised 
by Jack Pierce. 



Horror 

Horror movies tap into our deepest fears and anxieties, and what is 
suggested is often more frightening than what is revealed. The German 
expressionist films of the 1920s, influenced by the English Gothic novel, 
were among the first examples of the genre. 



The high watermark of Hollywood horror was the 
1930s. The films of the period were informed by a 
crystallization of influences, which included Mary 
Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 
and Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde; German expressionist films like The Cabinet 
of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Nosferatu (1922); and the 
emigration of European filmmakers to Hollywood 
from the mid-1 920s. However, the two most 
influential films (both 1931) were directed by an 
American, Tod Browning, and an Englishman, James 
Whale. Browning's Dracula, featuring Bela Lugosi's 
chilling performance, and Whale's Frankenstein, 
with Boris Karloff, set the style for a cycle of 
horror films, mainly from Universal Studios. 

Classic chillers 

Browning had previously made eight horror 
movies with Lon Chaney. Whale was to contribute 
two more classic horrors to the genre: The Old 
Dark House (1932) and The Bride of Frankenstein 
(1935). The former was another strand of the 
horror genre— the haunted-house movie, one 
of the first being The Cat and The Canary (1 927), 
directed by German-born Paul Leni. Universal 
also created a new creature in The Werewolf 
of London (1935) and The Wolf Man (1941), the 
latter with the hulking Lon Chaney Jr., who 
was to reprise the role three more times. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, Germany, 1922) 

The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, US, 1935) 

Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, US, 1942) 

The Night of the Living Dead 

(George A. Romero, US, 1968) 

The Exorcist (William Friedkin, US, 1973) 

Halloween (John Carpenter, US, 1978) 

Ring [Ringu] (Hideo Nakata, Japan, 1998) 

The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and 
Eduardo Sanchez, US, 1999) 



Arguably the best of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 
films was Rouben Mamoulian's 1931 version 
(the fifth) starring Fredric March. The next year 
also saw the release of Danish Carl Dreyer's 
Vampyr, which had an eerie, dreamlike quality. 

During the 1 940s, the real horrors of World 
War II made monster movies seem innocuous 
in comparison. The chillers produced by Val 
Lewton at RKO relied on a suggestion of horror 




rather than its depiction. Each scene in Jacques 
Tourneur's Cat People (1 942) and / Walked with a 
Zombie (1943), and Mark Robson's The Seventh 
Victim (1943) was invested with an underlying 
fear of the supernatural. 

Low-budget scares 

In the 1950s and 1960s, Britain's Hammer Studios 
brought all the notorious monsters back to life in 
gory Technicolor. They made stars of Christopher 
Lee and Peter Cushing in a number of Dracula 
and Frankenstein films. Also in England in the 
1960s, Roger Corman produced a series of 
garish adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe's short 
stories, most of which featured Vincent Price's 
ghoulish hamming. Following Corman's 





HORROR 



103 




Q Misako Uno (left) 
is haunted by a spirit 
(Takako Fuji), in director 
Takashi Shimizu's The 
Grudge 2 (2006). 



low-budget independent example was George 
A. Romero, whose horror movies were full of 
slavering zombies, from Night of the Living Dead 
(1968) to Land of the Dead (2005). In the 1960s 
and 1970s, Italy also produced a stream of 
startling, baroque horror flicks directed by 
Mario Bava and Dario Argento. 

The 1970s saw a number of gory horror films, 
including Tobe Hooper's exploitative The Texas 
Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and William Fried kin's 
hit, The Exorcist (1 973). John Carpenter's Halloween 
(1978), Sean Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980), 
and Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street 
(1984), all featured terrorized teens and spawned 
endless sequels, which were invariably inferior. 
The Blair Witch Project (1999) showed what could 
be achieved with a tiny budget. The protagonists 
of the movie filmed on two video cameras as 
if it were a real documentary (see p. 55). 

The one country that has produced more 
horror films than any other is Japan, which 
has almost redefined the genre. The most 
successful of Japanese horror films was 
Hideo Nakata's Ring [Ringu, 1998), about 
a video tape that shocks to death those 
who watch it. The film was remade in 
the US in 2002 as The Ring. 

Old favorites, such as The Mummy, 
which first terrified filmgoers in 1932, 
continue to be revisited. The 1999 
version of the film benefits from 
the use of CGI technology. 

□ Frances Dee features in Jacques 
Tourneur's / Walked with a Zombie (1 943), 
an example of RKO's horror output of 
the 1940s. The atmosphere and lighting 
of the movie contributed greatly to its 
disturbing tone. 




□ Film poster, 1931 



104 1 MOVIE GENRES 



Martial Arts 




The popularity of martial arts movies grew in the early 1970s due to the 
West's growing interest in Eastern philosophy and the star presence 
of Bruce Lee. In recent years, the genre has been rediscovered through 
films such as Hero (2002). 



□ Jackie Chan, a 

fan of both Buster 
Keaton and Bruce 
Lee, successfully 
combines physical 
comedy with action. 



Martial arts movies typically include a series 
of brilliantly choreographed fights in which the 
protagonist is outnumbered by enemies armed with 
knives or clubs, and defeats them with his or her 
bare hands. The plots are usually simple affairs 
of good versus evil. 

The most well-known actor in this field was 
Bruce Lee, whose reputation is based on only 
four films— Fists of Fury (1 971); The Chinese 
Connection (1972); The Way of the Dragon (1972), 
which he wrote and directed himself; and Enter 
the Dragon (1 973), in which he and two others 
manage to free hundreds of prisoners from an 
island fortress over which an evil warlord holds 
sway. Enter the Dragon was Lee's last completed 
film, before his mysterious death at the age of 32. 
It was given the Hollywood treatment and made a 
fortune for Warner Bros. 

From the 1980s, a plethora of martial arts movies 
appeared, such as John G. Avildsen's The Karate 
Kid (1 984), and those with Jean-Claude Van 
Damme ("the muscles from Brussels"), Chuck 
Norris, Steven Seagal, and Jackie Chan, whose 
comic take on the genre earned him the nickname 
"the Buster Keaton of kung fu." Jet Li, often called 
Bruce Lee's true successor, began a new wave of 
kung fu movies in China in the 1990s, such as Once 
Upon a Time in China (1991), directed by Tsui Hark. 

JwHAT TO WATCH 

Fists of Fury (Wei Lo, Hong Kong, 1971] 

The Chinese Connection 
(Wei Lo, Hong Kong, 1972) 

Enter the Dragon 

(Robert Clouse, Hong Kong/US, 1973) 

The Karate Kid (John G. Avildsen, US, 1984) 

Once Upon a Time in China 
(Tsui Hark, Hong Kong, 1991) 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

(Ang Lee, Taiwan/Hong Kong/US, 2000) 

Hero (Zhang Yimou, China/Hong Kong, 2002) 



The martial arts movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden 
Dragon (2000), with its outstanding special effects, 
became the highest grossing foreign-language 
film ever released in the US. 

Bruce Lee prepares for action in Enter the 
Dragon (1973), which was the first American- 
produced martial arts film. It made a legend 
of Lee and inspired a generation of filmmakers. 




MELODRAMA 105 



Melodrama 

In between the male-oriented war films, Westerns, and action movies 
that Hollywood turned out in the 1930s and 1940s, there was "the woman's 
picture" or melodrama. The genre continued successfully into the 1950s and 
1960s, with a slightly more feminist slant. 



The term "melodrama" is often used to refer to 
Hollywood tearjerkers whose plots revolve around 
a woman who is the victim of adultery, unrequited 
love, or a family tragedy. The heroine goes on to 
overcome these difficulties or, at least, learns 
to cope with them. British dramas were often 
too restrained to become melodramas, though 
David Lean's heartbreaking Brief Encounter (1945), 
about an illicit, seemingly unconsummated affair, 
comes close. 

Among the American directors who instigated 
these high-class soap operas were Frank Borzage, 
Edmund Goulding, and John M. Stahl. Borzage's 
forte was sentimental romance, especially with the 
sweet and innocent-looking Janet Gaynor [Seventh 
Heaven, 1927; Street Angel, 1928) and the delicate, 
tragic Margaret Sullavan in four movies, including 
Little Man, What Now? (1934), about young lovers 
fighting against adversity. 

Goulding, at Warner Bros., provided Bette 
Davis with some of her best and most typical 
melodramas, including Dark Victory (1939), in 
which she goes blind before dying radiantly. 
Stahl pulled out all the stops for Leave Her to 
Heaven (1 945), a lurid tale of a woman (Gene 
Tierney) whose jealousy ruins all those around 
her. He also directed three elegant "weepies:" 
Magnificent Obsession (1 935), Imitation of Life 
(1934), and When Tomorrow Comes (1939), all 
remade (the latter as Interlude, 1 957) by Douglas 
Sirk, whose films of the 1950s are considered the 
peak of Hollywood melodrama. 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

Imitation of Life (John M. Stahl, US, 1934) 
Stella Dallas (King Vidor, US.1937) 
Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, US, 1942] 
Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, US, 1945) 
Brief Encounter (David Lean, UK, 1945) 

The Life of Oharu 

(Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1952) 




Directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Germany) 
and Pedro Almodovar (Spain) both embraced 
the flamboyant style and plot absurdities of the 
Sirkian soaps, while commenting on them. 
In 2002, Todd Haynes made the perfect Sirk 
pastiche, Far from Heaven. 

Many of these melodramas depended on 
the leading lady. Barbara Stanwyck (King Vidor's 
Stella Dallas, 1937), Bette Davis (Irving Rapper's 
Now, Voyager, 1942), and Joan Crawford 
(Michael Curtiz's Mildred Pierce, 1945) 
reigned supreme among the soap queens, 
all three sacrificing themselves for others 
in the films mentioned and in many others. 
While India (Nargis Dutt), France (Arletty), 
Greece (Melina Mercouri), and Italy (Anna 
Magnani) all produced their own stars, 
arguably the greatest actress in the 
melodrama genre was Kinuyo Tanaka 
of Japan. She featured in 14 of Kenji 
Mizoguchi's films, including The Life of 
Oharu (1 952) and Sansho, the Bailiff (1 954)- 
period films that transcended the genre. 



□ Trevor Howard bids 
Celia Johnson goodbye 
on the platform where 
they first met, in David 
Lean's Brief Encounter 
(1945), written by 
Noel Coward. 



1 



D Film poster, 1939 



106 



MOVIE GENRES 



Musical 

Born with the coming of sound, the movie musical had its base in 
vaudeville and opera. With its brazen blending of fantasy and reality, 
the musical provided audiences with an accessible and immediate 
escape from life, first in the Great Depression, and then beyond. 




□ Dance director 

Busby Berkeley's water 
sprites perform By a 
Waterfall, a typically 
extravagant number 
from the film FootLight 
Parade (1933). 



In The Pirate (1 948), Judy Garland says, "I know 
there is a real world and a dream world and I shan't 
confuse them." However, that is exactly what this 
and other musicals set out to do, and this unreality 
gave directors, cameramen, and designers the most 
creative scope within the commercial structure 
of Hollywood. Musicals could also circumvent 
censorship more easily than other genres. Scantily 
dressed women and sexual innuendo went almost 
unnoticed by the censors when within the seemingly 
harmless confines of the musical. The studio system 
of the 1930s,1940s, and 1950s enabled these lavish 
dreams to take shape. Each major studio stamped 



its product with distinguishing aesthetic trademarks, 
emphasized by their own particular stars, dance 
directors, designers, and orchestrators. 

European style 

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, European 
artists and technicians flooded Hollywood, 
bringing with them a cosmopolitan style and 
approach. Their music-theater background 
was opera and operetta. They knew little of the 
American tradition of vaudeville, the inspiration 
behind so many "backstage" musicals; and they 
did not perceive the US as a glamorous enough 
setting for musical comedy. 

Paris was the glittering backdrop of three 
musicals that German-born Ernst Lubitsch made 
for Paramount— the most European of the studios— 
which starred Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice 
Chevalier. Chevalier's Gallic charm and MacDonald's 
Anglo-Saxon reserve and self-mockery made a 
seductive, piquant combination. The Love Parade 
(1929), with its lavish settings, songs integrated 
into the scenario, and sexual innuendo, set a 
pattern for screen operettas. At MGM, Lubitsch 
directed Chevalier and MacDonald again in The 
Merry Widow (1934), while Russian-born Rouben 
Mamoulian directed the duo in the witty and 
stylish Love Me Tonight (1932). 

Backstage musicals 

Coming from the American vaudeville tradition, 
The Broadway Melody (1929) pioneered the backstage 
musical, which was to dominate the genre, on and 
off, for decades to come. It was also the first all- 
talking, all-singing, all-dancing movie, and the first 
film with sound to win an Oscar for Best Picture. 
The plots of backstage musicals revolved around the 
problems of putting on a show. They followed 
the auditions, the rehearsals, the bickering, the 
wisecracking chorus girls, the out-of-town tryouts, 
the financial difficulties, and the final, spectacular 
production, which often featured a youngster 
taking over the lead at the last moment and 



MUSICAL 107 




achieving instant stardom. Uniike in operettas, 
people only sang and danced within the confines 
of the show. Another formula was to dispense with 
plot altogether in favor of a string of statically filmed 
numbers. The first of these was The Hollywood 
Revue of 1929 (1 929), in which Arthur Freed and 
Nacio Herb Brown's song, Singin'in the Rain, 
was first heard. 



MGM paid three extravagant tributes to Broadway 
impresario Florenz Ziegfeld: The Great Ziegfeld 
(1936), which features a gigantic revolving wedding 
cake; Ziegfeld Girl (1941), which, with clever editing, 
shows Judy Garland on top of the same cake; 
and Ziegfeld Follies (1946), which featured MGM's 
biggest stars of the period, including Fred Astaire 
and Gene Kelly. 




□ Lucille Ball, 

bedecked in plumes 
of feathers, cracks a 
whip at a posse of girls 
dressed as black cats, 
performing a feline 
dance in Ziegfeld 
Follies (1946). 



108 



MOVIE GENRES 




□ The cast of On the 

Town (1949) included 
Frank Sinatra and 
Gene Kelly. 



Great dancers 

Astaire has been the greatest dancer in the 
history of film so far. He remains unsurpassed 
in invention, virtuosity, and elegance. Although 
he tried various cinematic forms, they never 
hindered the purity of his dancing, either solo 
or with his many dancing partners, the most 
famous of whom was Ginger Rogers. The two 
first teamed up in Flying Down to Rio (1933), after 
which they danced together through eight more 
RKO musicals— all light-hearted comedies of 



□ Cyd Charisse 

plays the tantalizing 
gangster's moll and 
Fred Astaire is a private 
eye in the Girl Hunt 
ballet from The Band 
Wagon (1953). 




errors set against sophisticated, cosmopolitan 
settings— till 1939. Astaire then moved with ease 
into MGM's Technicolor musicals. 

As a dancer, choreographer, and director, Gene 
Kelly became one of the most creative forces in the 
1950s, the heyday of the musical. He experimented 
with slow motion, multiple images, animation, and 
trick photography to extend the appeal of dancing. 
He showed off his varied dancing skills in the 
18-minute ballet that ends Vincente Minnelli's 
An American in Paris (1951) and in the exuberant 
title number of Singin' in the Rain (1952), a film 
that was co-directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen. 

What distinguished the films that burst forth 
from MGM by directors such as Donen, Kelly, and 
Minnelli was the integration of musical numbers 
into the film's narrative theme. In these features, 
song, dance, and music no longer punctuated the 
story, but actually worked to advance the plot. 
Minnelli's sumptuous Gigi (1958) was among 
the very last musicals especially written for the 
screen, aside from the stream of colorful Elvis 
Presley vehicles in the 1960s. 

Screen adaptations 

In the early days of the musical, studios lavished 
fortunes on celluloid versions of Broadway shows 
in the hope of repeating their success, but these 
bore little resemblance to the stage originals. 



MUSICAL 109 



More faithful adaptations began in 1950, with 
MGM's Annie Get Your Gun. Guys and Dolls (1 955), 
Oklahoma! (1955), The King and I (1956), South 
Pacific (1958); and in the 1960s, West Side Story 
( 1 96 1 ) , My Fair Lady ( 1 964) , a nd The Sound of 
Music (1965) followed. However, after Hello, Dolly 
(1 969) flopped, the musical— like the Western- 
became a rare phenomenon. The genre saw 
a limited revival in the 1970s, with Bob Fosse's 
Cabaret (1972), which captured the essence of 
Berlin in the early 1930s, and Saturday Night 
Fever (1977) and Grease (1978), the films in 
which John Travolta made his name. 

Musicals abroad 

The Hollywood musical had some influence on 
the few notable musicals made outside the US. 
In the Soviet Union in the 1930s, Grigori Aleksandrov 
made four Hollywood -style musicals, the best known 
being Jazz Comedy (1934). Jacques Demy's The 
Young Girls ofRochefort (1967) was a direct nod to 
the MGM musical— Gene Kelly was persuaded 
to feature— but his The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 

(1964) , in which all the dialogue was sung, was 
intrinsically French. 

Until the mid-1960s, British musicals were 
mostly genteel affairs that had little impact outside 
the UK. That changed with US-born Richard Lester's 
Beatles' films— ^ Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! 

(1965) — followed by Carol Reed's Oscar-winning 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

Le Million (Rene Clair, France, 1931) 
42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, US, 1933) 
The Merry Widow (Ernst Lubitsch, US, 1934) 
Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, US, 1 935) 

Meet Me in St. Louis 

(Vincente Minnelli, US, 1944) 

Sin gin' in the Rain 

(Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, US, 1952) 
Gigi (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1958) 
West Side Story 

(Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins, US, 1961) 

Cabaret (Bob Fosse, US, 1972) 

Grease (Randal Kleiser, US, 1978) 

Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolina, US, 1987) 

Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, Australia/US, 2001) 

Hairspray (Adam Shankman, US/UK, 2007) 



Oliver! (1968), Ken Russell's The Boy Friend (1971), 
and Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone (1976). Other 
examples were few and far between until Parker's 
Evita (1996). Interest in the American musical was 
retained in Baz Luhrmann's visually extravagant 
Moulin Rouge (2001 ) and in further reproductions 
of Broadway hits, such as Rob Marshall's Chicago 
(2002) and Susan Stroman's The Producers (2005). 
Sadly, musicals written directly for the screen, 
which made it a cinematic genre independent 
of the theater, have become almost obsolete. 



□ Catherine Zeta 
Jones plays murderous, 
vampish flapper Velma 
Kelly in Rob Marshall's 
Chicago (2002), an 
adaptation of Bob 
Fosse's jazz-stage 
Broadway musical. 




110 MOVIE GENRES 



Propaganda 

Produced with the intention of persuading viewers of a particular belief 
or ideology, propaganda films have been used by governments around 
the world since the early 20th century. Though documentary is the most 
popular form, drama is also used to convey a "message." 



□ Westfront 1918 

(1930), directed by 
G.W. Pabst, focuses 
on the Lives of four 
World War I soldiers. 
The film highlights the 
reality of life at the front. 



i 





□ Film poster, 1943 



The manipulative power of movies was recognized 
from the earliest days of film; part of its effectiveness 
came from the mistaken belief that the camera 
cannot lie. Propaganda films came of age during 
World War I, when every major belligerent power 
commissioned official films showing its enemy in 
an unfavorable light. 

Political aims 

Vladimir Lenin, the head of the Soviet state, 
realized at the beginning of the Russian Revolution 
of 1917 that film was the most important of all the 
arts because it could educate the masses— many of 
whom were illiterate— to support Bolshevik aims. 
Almost all the great silent Soviet films of the 1920s, 



by Sergei Eisenstein, V.I. Pudovkin, and Alexander 
Dovzhenko, as well as Dziga Vertov's Kino-Pravda 
(literally Cinematic Truth) newsreels (see p. 94), 
were made for propaganda purposes. At the 
same time, the films were revolutionary in form. 
Between the wars, many British documentaries, 
such as Housing Problems (1935), explored social 
evils. In the US, the state tried to sell the New 
Deal— the reform of the economy during the Great 
Depression— to the public with Pare Lorentz's 
The Plow that Broke the Plains (1 936). In Germany, 
Kuhle Wampe (1932), directed by Slatan Dudow, 
focused on the effects of unemployment, while 
G.W. Pabst's Westfront 1918 (1930) showed the 
horror of life in the trenches. However, after 



PROPAGANDA 111 



■■ Film is not an extension of 

revolutionary action. FUm is and must be 

revolutionary action in itself 



Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez 

the Nazis took over the film industry in 1934, 
anti-Semitic films serving the government's 
policies became de rigueur. The Triumph of the 
Will (1935), Leni RiefenstahL's documentary 
film of the Nuremberg Rally of 1934, earned 
her the reputation of being Germany's foremost 
ideological propagandist. 

World War II and beyond 

During World War II, British director Humphrey 
Jennings made documentaries about the effect 
of the war on ordinary people. His London Can 
Take It! (1940) and Listen To Britain (1942) did 
much to influence public opinion in the US. 
When the US entered the war in 1 941 , a stream 
of anti-Nazi dramas were produced, with titles 
such as Hitler's Madman (Douglas Sirk, 1 943) and 
Hitler's Children (Edward Dmytryk, 1943). Tarzan, 
Sherlock Holmes, and even Donald Duck (who 
appeared in Walt Disney's Der Fuehrer's Face, 1943) 
were recruited into battle against the enemy. Frank 



Capra, John Huston, William Wellman, William 
Wyler, and John Ford served in the American Office 
of War Information, and contributed to the war 
effort, significantly in Capra 's Why We Fight 
(1942-45). During the Cold War, the US Information 
Service's anti-Soviet documentaries, and the crude 
fiction films that replaced Nazis with Communists, 
had little effect in the liberal climate of the 1960s 
and 1970s. Some of the most effective propaganda 
films were, in fact, anti-American, such as Hanoi, 
Tuesday 13th (1 967), a short by Santiago Alvarez. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

The Triumph of the Will 

(Leni Riefenstahl, Germany, 1935) 

The Plow that Broke the Plains 

(Pare Lorentz, US, 1936) 

Der Fuehrer's Face 
(Jack Kinney, US.1943) 





□ Film poster, 1967 



□ In To Whom Does the 
World Belong? [mi], 
children from Berlin's 
tent city look up to see 
an unemployed young 
man about to throw 
himself off a building. 
The film was banned 
by the Nazis. 



112 



MOVIE GENRES 



Science Fiction and Fantasy 

In science fiction and fantasy films, imaginary worlds and scenarios 
are constructed — often with the aid of special effects — to enable the 
improbable to become possible. Themes within these films include 
alien life forms, space and time travel, and futuristic technology 



□ Johnny Depp 

plays a naive man- 
made boy in Edward 
Scissorhands (1990), 
Tim Burton's tragi- 
comic satire, hatched 
from an idea that the 
director had as a child. 



□ In The Wizard of Oz 

(1939)— an Academy 
award-winning movie- 
Dorothy embarks upon 
a journey with the 
Scarecrow, Tinman, and 
Lion, during which they 
encounter the Wicked 
Witch of the West. 




Jean Cocteau, who directed the magical Beauty and 
the Beast [La Belle et la Bete, 1946), said that "the 
cinema is a dream we all dream at the same time." 
This is especially true of science fiction (sci-fi) and 
fantasy films. Victor Fleming's The Wizard of Oz 
(1 939) separates reality and fantasy by showing 
Dorothy's dream domain in glorious Technicolor and 
her home in monochrome. Fantasy adventures go 
beyond the limitations of our minds to an imagined, 
but not always preferable, world. Similarly, the 
worlds that science fiction creates are often warped. 

Many fantasy adventures are about displacement, 
where characters find themselves in a strange, 
sometimes hostile environment. Examples include 
Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), 




Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), 
Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990), and the 
Chronicles ofNarnia series (2005-). 

Early sci-fi 

Audiences still delight in films from the pre-digital 
days of film. The space travel genre was started by 
George Melies'4 Trip to the Moon (1902), based on 
Jules Verne's story (see p.U). Melies went on 
to film more of Verne's visionary novels, many of 
which— such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the 
Sea and A Journey to the Center of the Earth— were 
filmed and refilmed over the years. 

Russian film's first venture into the territory 
of science fiction was Yakov Protazanov's Aelita 
(1 924), a comedy-drama featuring two Russians who 
land on Mars and organize a Soviet-style revolution 
against the autocratic Queen Aelita. However, it 
would be many years before Russia returned to the 
genre, with Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972) and 
Stalker (1979), both of which are technologically 
convincing despite having minimal special effects. 
In France, Rene Clair's first film, The Crazy Ray (1923), 
tells of a mad scientist who, with the aid of a magic 
ray (an effect created with stop-motion photography), 
causes people to freeze in different positions. 
After the influential Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang 
embarked on The Woman in the Moon (1 929), about 
a scientist who believes the moon is rich in gold 
and tries to corner the market. Raoul Walsh's The 
Thief of Bagdad (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks, 
set new Hollywood standards for special effects 
that still astonish, despite Alexander Korda's 
impressive 1940 Technicolor remake. Fairbanks 
climbs a magic rope, braves the Valley of Monsters, 
and sails over rooftops on a magic carpet. 

Sci-fi writers 

The 1 930s and 1 940s were not very rich in science 
fiction or fantasy movies. However, there were 
three superlative adaptations of H.G. Wells novels: 
James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933), in which 
Claude Rains made his first screen (dis)appearance; 




SCIENCE FICTION AND 



FANTASY 113 



William Cameron Menzies' Things to Come (1936), 
about an apocalyptic world war; and Lothar Mendes' 
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1 936), in which 
the gods grant a clerk the power to do what he 
wishes. Wells also provided the source material for 
The War of the Worlds (1953)— remade by Spielberg 
in 2005-and The Time Machine (1960). Both were 
produced by Hungarian-born special effects expert 
George Pal, whose Destination Moon (1950) began 
a stream of Hollywood sci-fi movies in the 1950s. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Metropolis (Fritz Lang, Germany, 1927) 

The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, US, 1939] 

The Time Machine (George Pal, US, 1960) 

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, US) 

Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972] 

Star Wars (George Lucas, US, 1977) 

The Matrix (Larry and Andy Wachowski, US, 1999) 

Avatar (James Cameron, US, 2009) 

Inception (Christopher Nolan, US, 2010) 




Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 
an anti-war sci-fi classic, features an alien 
who warns that unless nuclear weapons are 
destroyed, his race will annihilate Earth. 

Unlike the low-budget sci-fi that dominated 
the 1950s, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey 
(1968) revolutionized space travel films with its 
technology. The screenplay by Arthur C. Clarke 
was adapted from one of his own short stories. 
Other science fiction writers whose novels have 
been adapted to film include Ray Bradbury 
[Fahrenheit 451 , 1966), Stanislaw Lem [Solaris, 
1972), and Isaac Asimov (/, Robot, 2004). Many 
of the novels and short stories of Philip K. Dick 
have also been made into films, including Blade 
Runner (1982), Minority Report (2002), and The 
Adjustment Bureau (2011). 

Time travel became popular in the 1980s with 
Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981)— the first in a 
fantasy trilogy with Brazil (1985) and The Adventures 
of Baron Munchausen (1988); James Cameron's The 
Terminator series (1984); and Robert Zemeckis's 
Back to the Future (1985). These films became 
paradigms for future sci-fi and fantasy movies. 



r 

D Film poster, 1956 



BThe T-1000 
terminator (Robert 
Patrick) is sent from 
the future to assasinate 
John Connor, the leader 
of the future human 
resistance in Terminator 
2: Judgment Day (1991). 




114 I MOVIE GENRES 




□ Jedi Padawan 
Obi-Wan Kenobi and 

Jar Jar Binx undertake 
a voyage to meet 
Queen Amidala in Star 
Wars: Episode l-The 
Phantom Menace (1999). 



□ Jake Sully (Sam 
Worthington) plays 
a paraplegic marine 
sent on a mission to 
the moon Pandora 
in James Cameron's 
Avatar (2009). The 
movie won Oscars 
for Best Art Direction, 
Cinematography, and 
Visual Effects. 



Monster movies 

In Japan, a decade after the horrors of Hiroshima 
and Nagasaki, Godzilla (1954) was the first of a 
series of Godzilla movies, in which many of the 
creatures were the result of nuclear radiation. 
The films were influenced by The Beast from 
20,000 Fathoms (1953), about a dinosaur revived 
by an atomic blast; countless imitations followed. 
The monster was animated by Ray Harryhausen, 



the most celebrated of all special effects (SFX, see 
p. 72) men, whose crowning achievement was Don 
Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts (1 963). 

Special effects 

To quote the motto of the Star Trek series, sci-fi 
and fantasy films "boldly go where no man has 
gone before" and so, are more reliant on special 
effects than any other genre. With Star Wars 
(1977), the art of special effects entered a new 
age. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) soon 
dominated most American blockbusters of this 
genre from the 1 980s, often becoming their raison 
d'etre. Ironically, the Wachowski brothers' The 
Matrix (1999), which depended heavily on CGI, 
is a cautionary tale about computers taking 
over the world. Steven Spielberg made magic 
with Jurassic Park (1993), in which a wealthy 
entrepreneur secretly builds a theme park on a 
remote island, featuring living dinosaurs created 
from prehistoric DNA. James Cameron effectively 
used CGI in immersive 3-D technology to transport 
the audience to Pandora, an exotic alien world, in 
his Oscar-winning movie Avatar (2009). 




SERIAL 115 



Serial 

The serial was a multi-episode, usually action-adventure, film. It was shown 
in movie theaters in weekly instalments and each chapter ended on a 
cliffhanger. It is the only obsolete cinematic genre, though some of its 
features are evident in television soap operas and mini-series. 



From the earliest days of film, serials were an 
important ingredient of movie theater programs. 
The Adventures of Kathiyn (1913) was the first true 
serial, but a year later, its director Louis Gasnier 
caused a sensation with The Perils of Pauline 
(19U), starring the most famous "serial queen," 
Pearl White. She played the title character and 
endured all sorts of indignities from villains, such 
as being tied to a railroad line. 

In France, Louis Feuillade was directing serials 
such as Fantdmas (1 913-14), the story of a master 
criminal. His greatest triumph was Les Vampires 
(1915-16), which had a dreamlike quality admired 
by general public and surrealists alike. In Germany, 
Fritz Lang made his reputation with The Spiders 
(1919-20), featuring the use of mirrors, hypnosis, 
underground chambers, and arch criminals. 

In the US, 28 serials were made in 1920 alone. 
With the coming of sound, the main studios started 
producing serials of better quality. These included 
Universal's Flash Gordon (from 1936) with Larry 
"Buster" Crabbe in the title role, battling his nemesis 
Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton). It was the 
most expensive serial ever made— at $350,000, 
three times the average serial budget. Crabbe also 
starred in Buck Rogers Conquers the Universe (1 939). 

Other hit serials of the 1930s were Dick Tracy, 
Zorro, The Lone Ranger, and Hawk of the Wilderness. 
During World War II, Captain America, Superman, 
and Batman all faced German or Japanese villains. 
In the 1950s, mainly due to the advent of television, 
the production of serials began to diminish. The 
Western serial Blazing the Overland Trail (1956) 
was the last ever produced. 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

The Perils of Pauline 

(Louis Gasnier, US, 1914) 

Flash Gordon (Frederick Stephani, US, 1936) 
The Lone Ranger 

(John English and William Witney, US, 1938] 



□ "Buster" Crabbe's most 
famous role was as Flash 




116 



MOVIE GENRES 



Series 

Series may be sequels (The Godfather: Part IZ), prequels (the Star 
Wars saga), or films with different plots but the same characters (the 
Indiana Jones cycle). The convention of putting numerals after film 
titles, as in Spider-Man 2 (2004), did not begin until the 1970s. 



□ Harrison Ford (right) 
as the eponymous hero 
and his archeologist 
father, Sean Connery, 
are bound together, 
in Steven Spielberg's 
Indiana Jones and the 
Last Crusade (1989), 
Jones' third adventure. 



□ From Sean 
Connery to Daniel 
Craig, actors across 
the ages have played 
James Bond. 





Before the 1 970s, feature film sequels were rare, 
yet favorite characters kept on reappearing in 
numerous films. One of the first was Tarzan, who 
initially swung into view in 1918, played by Elmo 
Lincoln in Tarzan of the Apes. Several other silent 
Tarzans appeared before Johnny Weissmuller's 
famous yodeling call was heard in Tarzan the Ape 
Man (1932). Weissmuller, a former US Olympic 
swimming champion, went on to make 19 Tarzan 
movies over the next 1 6 years. 

Series made up a significant part of Hollywood's 
B picture output from the 1930s. Among the longest 
running were Andy Hardy (1938-58), Sherlock 
Holmes (1939-46), Dr. Kildare (1938-47), Charlie 
Chan (1931-49), 
and various movies 
featuring a gang 
of lovable juvenile 
delinquents: The Dead 
End Kids, The East Side 
Kids, and The Bowery 
Boys (1938-58). Notable 
series from the 1960s 
onward included The 
Pink Panther and Planet 
of the Apes. 



The French-Italian co-production Don Camillo 
(1951-65), about a parish priest in conflict with a 
Communist mayor, was a major international hit. 
In England, the broad Carry On... farces ran from 
1 958-78, while the James Bond films began with 
Dr. No in 1962, making it the longest continuing 
series in the English language. The ingredients of the 
Bond recipe remain virtually unchanged to this date. 

Among the highest grossing series in film history 
are The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) and Harry Potter 
(2001-1 1), both adapted from novels. However, in 
terms of numbers, the Japanese series Zatoichi 
(1962-2003) remains unbeaten. Its hero— a blind 
swordsman— featured in 27 films. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Charlie Chan (Various, US, 1931-49) 

Don Camillo (Various, France/Italy, 1951-65) 

Zatoichi (Various, Japan, 1962-2003) 

James Bond (Various, UK, 1962-) 

The Lord of the Rings 

(Peter Jackson, New Zealand/US, 2001-03) 

Harry Potter (Various, UK/US 2001-1 1) 

The Chronicles of Narnia (Various, UK/US 2005-) 



TEEN 117 



Teen 

In the 1950s, producers began to recognize a market for youth-oriented 
films, the number of which grew steadily until a dramatic increase 
in the 1980s. Often set in a school, these movies invariably showed 
teens trying to attract the opposite sex and escape adult control. 



Teenagers were usually patronized and ridiculed in 
films made before the 1950s. An example was the 
extremely popular Andy Hardy series of the 1930s 
and early 1 940s, which starred Mickey Rooney as 
a happy-go-lucky adolescent getting into scrapes. 

The growing teen audience of the 1950s began 
to identify with new stars like Marlon Brando 
[The Wild One, 1953) and James Dean [Rebel 
Without a Cause, 1955). In the next decade, a 
series of "beach party" movies came out, while 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, US, 1955) 
American Graffiti (George Lucas, US, 1973) 
The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, US, 1985) 
Mean Girls (Mark Waters, US, 2004) 



Roger Corman's biker and LSD films 
appealed to a hipperyouth audience. 
In the 1970s, George Lucas' seminal 
American Graffiti (1973) sparked off 
other "rites-of-passage" pictures. Then came 
the so-called "Brat Pack," a group of young 
actors associated with the films of writer-director 
John Hughes, including The Breakfast Club (1985) 
and Pretty in Pink (1 986), the latter directed by 
Howard Deutch. 

Although most teen stars fade from view as 
they (and their fans) mature, a few have gone on 
to productive careers, including Demi Moore, Rob 
Lowe, and James Spader. Actors such as Drew 
Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson have established 
themselves as true 21 st-century stars. However, 
Miley Cyrus is already beating a path for the 
next generation... 




Q Film poster, 1959 




□ Judd Nelson, Emilio 
Estevez, Ally Sheedy, 
Molly Ringwald, and 
Anthony Michael Hall 
star in John Hughes' 
Brat Pack flick, The 
Breakfast Club (1985). 




118 



MOVIE GENRES 



Thriller 

Thrillers are gripping yarns of suspense, in which the tension is created 
by placing one or more characters in a threatening situation from which 
they have to escape. This type of film can cross several genres to produce 
action, science fiction, and even Western thrillers. 




Cary Grant is chased 
by a mysterious, crop- 
dusting plane that 
suddenly appears from 
nowhere, in North by 
Northwest (1959), one of 
Alfred Hitchcock's most 
celebrated set pieces. 




□ Film poster, 1966 



In North by Northwest (1959), Alfred Hitchcock, 
"The Master of Suspense," perfected one of 
the fundamental thriller types: the picaresque 
pursuit. This is usually a mystery, involving spies or 
terrorists, in which the protagonist is the pursued 
or the pursuer, attempting to solve a crime or 
prevent a disaster. Among the number of films that 
could be called Hitchcockian are Carol Reed's The 
Third Man (1949), Stanley Donen's Charade (1963) 
and Arabesque (1 966), and several thrillers by 
Brian De Palma, particularly Obsession (1976). 

Another Hitchcockian theme is the "woman- 
in-peril" psychological thriller, as epitomized by 
Psycho (1960). Other potent examples are Gaslight 
(1940 and 1944), in which a man drives his wife 
slowly insane to gain an inheritance; Anatole 
Litvak's Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), in which 
an invalid (Barbara Stanwyck) overhears, on the 
phone, a plot to murder her; Terence Young's Wait 
Until Dark (1967), in which Audrey Hepburn plays 
a blind woman terrorized by gangsters; and Phillip 
Noyce's Dead Calm (1989), in which Nicole Kidman 
battles a crazed castaway on a yacht. 



The 1970s saw a number of post-Watergate 
conspiracy thrillers, including Alan Pakula's The 
Parallax View (1974), a no-holds-barred look at a 
political assassination cover-up. The conspiracy 
thriller reappeared in the 1990s, with films such 
as Phillip Noyce's Patriot Games (1992) and Clear 
and Present Danger (1994), both of which starred 
Harrison Ford. It continued with Doug Liman's 
The Bourne Identity (2002) and its sequels, starring 
Matt Damon, and Fernando Meirelles' The Constant 
Gardener (2005). 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

The Third Man (Carol Reed, UK, 1949) 

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1960) 

The Silence of the Lambs 
(Jonathan Demme, US, 1991) 

The Constant Gardener 

(Fernando Meirelles, UK/Germany, 2005) 

The Girl Who Played With Fire 
(Daniel Alfredson, Various, 2009) 



UNDERGROUND 119 



Underground 

The term "underground" as a film genre originated in the US toward 
the end of the 1950s. It applied to experimental filmmaking, which was 
rooted in the European avant-garde but was strongly connected to the 
American Beat movement that emerged at the time. 



In the 1940s, experimental filmmaking began in 
the US, encouraged by European artists and film- 
makers, including Oskar Fischinger and New 
York-based Hans Richterand Marcel Duchamp. 

Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) 
was one of the first independent underground films. 
Dealing with a suicide, it is famous for its four-stride 
sequence: from beach to grass to mud to sidewalk 
to rug. In the early 1950s, younger directors like 
Stan Brakhage emerged, working in a similar mode. 
Their films are often described as "psychodramas." 

In 1 955, brothers Jonas and Adolfas Mekas started 
the magazine Film Culture, which was crucial to 
new American film. Jonas Mekas' Guns of the Trees 
(1 961 ) was one of several feature-length films 
inspired by the French NewWave. 

Toward the end of 1960, the New American 
Cinema Group was formed, favoring films that 
were "rough, unpolished, but alive." Like many 



such films, Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures (1963) 
embraced Hollywood even as it defied its narrative 
traditions by using clips of "tits'n'sand" movies. 

The mode for campness was exploited by Andy 
Warhol in movies such as Blow Job (1 963). A year 
later, Kenneth Anger's gay biker film Scorpio Rising, 
starring Nelson Leigh, Ernie Alio, and Bruce Byron, 
was released, and it became a seminal movie in 
US underground film. 

Michael Snow attempted to redefine our way of 
seeing by exploring new time and space concepts 
in films such as Wavelength (1967). 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, US, 1943) 
Wavelength (Michael Snow, Canada/US, 1967) 
Flesh (Paul Morrissey, US, 1968) 




□ Maya Deren stars 
in her own Meshes of 
the Afternoon (1943), a 
study of feminine angst. 
The film rejects the 
traditional narrative 
structure in favor 



120 



MOVIE GENRES 




War 

Battle scenes and war have been the subject of films since the beginning 
of film, but as a genre, war movies came of age during World War I. Often, 
they take an anti-war stance, but equally, they can be made to stir up 
popular support and even serve as propaganda. 



□ Film poster, 1927 



A soldier stands 
in the war cemetery, 
before the dead of 
World War I rise up 
from their graves 
to accuse the Living, 
in Abel Gance's 
J 'Accuse (1919). 



War films emerged as a major film genre after the 
outbreak of World War I. The most significant was 
D.W. Griffith's Hearts of the World (1918), which used 
documentary material and a studio reconstruction 
of a French village occupied by "beastly Huns" led 
by a ruthless German officer (Erich von Stroheim). 

Charlie Chaplin's Shoulder Arms (1918), set 
partly in the trenches, was released only a few 
weeks before the armistice, drawing howls of 
protest. Yet, it was Chaplin's biggest triumph up 
to that time, proving that comedy could provide 
a much-needed release from tragic events. 

After the armistice, war films all but ceased. 
Exceptions included Abel Gance's JAccuse (1919), 
which he described as "a human cry against the 
bellicose din of armies." Rex Ingram's The Four 
Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), which made 
Rudolph Valentino a star, had a strong anti-war 
message. However, it was also so anti-German 
that some thought it promoted hatred between 
nations, and the film was banned in Germany 
and withdrawn from circulation for years. 



War films were revived in the mid-1 920s, with 
King Vidor's The Big Parade (1925), Raoul Walsh's 
What Price Glory? (1 926), and William Wellman's 
Wings (1927), the first film to win the Best Picture 
Oscar. When sound was first introduced, theaters 
were flooded with war films, and in 1930 alone, 
there appeared Howard Hawks' The Dawn Patrol, 
Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels, James Whale's 
Journey's End, and Lewis Milestone's All Quiet 
on the Western Front, a portrayal of the German 
perspective. In Germany itself, G.W. Pabst's 
Westfront 1918 (1 930) depicted the futility of life 
in the trenches. However, as the memories of the 
war and the mood of anti-militarism that marked 
these films began to fade, the subject became 
less popular. Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion 
(1 937), the first war film after some years, was 
a moving anti-war statement that did not actually 
include any fighting. 

Hawks' Sergeant York (1 941 ), based on the true 
story of World War I's most decorated US soldier 
(played by Oscar winner Gary Cooper), was 




I^WHAT TO WATCH 

J'Accuse (Abel Gance, France, 1919) 
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1957] 
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, US, 1979] 
Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, Germany, 1981) 
Full MetalJacket (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1987) 
Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, US, 1998) 
No Man's Land (Danis Tanovic, Bosnia, 2001) 
The Hurt Locker [Kalhryn Bigelow, US, 2008) 



intended to inspire American audiences as the 
country emerged from isolation to join the fight 
against the Axis powers. 

World War II has always been the most popular 
period for war genre filmmakers because the 
issues seemed more straightforward than in most 
wars. After the US entered the war, Hoiiywood 
turned out a stream of flag-waving action features, 
as did the UK. British films like Noel Coward's In 
Which We Serve (1942) and Carol Reed's The Way 
Ahead (1944) were deemed more realistic but more 
class-conscious than their US counterparts. 

Unlike the usual war saga, Wellman's The Story 
of G.I. Joe (1945) concentrated on the fatigue and 
anxiety that the common soldier suffered. The 
heroics were left to Errol Flynn and John Wayne, 
who were depicted winning the war almost 
single-handedly. 

After World War II 

Post-war films were allowed to be a little more 
critical of the military establishment. Mark Robson's 
Home of the Brave (1949) courageously took on the 
subject of racism in the US army, while few punches 
were pulled in Attack! (1956), Robert Aldrich's 
powerful indictment of life in the military. 

Japan, which had made jingoistic films during 
the war, now concentrated on pacifist themes. 
Kon Ichikawa's The Burmese Harp (1956), is a cry 
of anguish for the victims of World War II. The next 
year saw Stanley Kubrick's bitterly ironic and moving 
World War I drama, Paths of Glory. In contrast, the 
1 960s saw a number of war epics celebrating Allied 
victories, such as The Longest Day (1962), The Battle 
of the Bulge (1965), and The Battle of Britain (1969). 

Robert Altman's iconoclastic M*A*S*H (1970), 
although set in Korea, was plainly a reference to 
the Vietnam War. The only US film on the subject 



WAR I 121 




made during the Vietnam War was The Green 
Berets (1968), a gung-ho action movie starring 
John Wayne. It was only in the 1 970s that this 
conflict was properly explored in movies. The 
most effective of these films were Michael 
Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978), Francis Ford 
Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1 979), Oliver Stone's 
Platoon (1986), and Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal 
Jacket [mi). 

However, filmmakers constantly returned 
to World War II for inspiration. From Germany 
came Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1 981 ), which 
followed the efforts of a U-boat crew to survive; and 
Stalingrad (1 993). Russia, which had earlier made 
such remarkable films like Grigori Chukhrai's The 
Ballad of a Soldier (1959) and Andrei Tarkovsky's 
Ivan's Childhood (1962), continued the tradition with 
Elem Klimov's powerful Come and See (1985). In the 
US, there was an 18-year gap between Sam Fuller's 
tough, symbolic The Big Red One (1 980) and other 
distinguished World War II dramas, such as 
Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line and Steven 
Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, with its 30-minute 
opening sequence of a soldier's eye view of battle. 

The 1 991 Gulf War was examined in Edward 
Zwick's Courage Under Fire (1996) and David 0. 
Russell's Three Kings (1999). No matter which 
conflict is portrayed, the eternal truths of war 
lend a similarity to all war movies. 



□ The Hurt Locker 

(2008), a film about the 
Iraq War, was directed 
by Kathryn Bigelow, 
who made history 
by becoming the first 
woman to win an Oscar 
for Best Director. 




□ Peter Weir's 
GaUipolli (1981) is set 
during World War I. 



122 



MOVIE GENRES 



Western 

The Western is not only the oldest of all film genres, but it is the only 
home-grown American cinematic form. From the 1920s to the early 
1960s, it was the Western's popularity that consolidated Hollywood's 
dominance in the global film market. 




□ Film poster, 1903 



The historical setting of films 
belonging to this genre is 
traditionally between the 
1850s and the 1890s, a period 
that saw events such as the 
gold rushes in California 
and the Dakotas, the Civil 
War, the building of the 
trans-continental railroad, 
the Indian wars, the opening up 
of the cattle ranges and the subsequent range wars, 
and the steady spread westward of homesteaders, 
farmers, and immigrants. This was also the period 
that witnessed the virtual extermination of the 
buffalo and of the majority of the indigenous 
Native American tribes. 



However, some Westerns go back to the time of 
the colonial era or forward to the mid-20th century. 
The geographical location is usually west of the 
Mississippi river, north of the Rio Grande river, 
and south toward the border with Mexico. 

The most fundamental theme of the Western 
is the civilizing of the wilderness— the taming of 
nature, lawbreakers, and "savages" (usually Native 
Americans). Among the iconic elements are remote 
forts and vast ranches, and the small-town saloon, 
jail, and main street— where the inevitable 
showdown between hero and villain takes place. 
However, many of the best Westerns also have 
a psychological complexity that stretches beyond 
the simplistic good versus evil premise, toward the 
dimensions of Greek tragedy. 




WESTERN 123 



The birth of the Western 

Before the beginning of film in 1895, there were 
the popular Wild West shows of "Buffalo BILL" Cody, 
Zane Grey's frontier stories, Owen Wister's The 
Virginian— \.he first modern Western novel, published 
in 1902— and dime novels about the exploits of 
heroes on both sides of the law: Wyatt Earp, Doc 
Holliday, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Bat 
Masterson, the James brothers, and Billy the Kid. 
As the newspaperman says in John Ford's The Man 
Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), "When the legend 
becomes fact, print the legend." So by the time of 
the first narrative screen Western, Edwin S. Porter's 
The Great Train Robbery (1903), the legends of the 
West were already embedded in popular culture. 

That ten-minute film launched the career of 
"Broncho Billy" Anderson, who became the first 
Western hero. Other stars followed, the most famous 
being W.S. Hart and Tom Mix. Also in the early 1900s, 
D.W. Griffith was making Westerns, mainly featuring 
red devils thirsty for the blood of whites, such 
as the two-reeler The Battle of Elderbush Gulch 
(1913). The next year, Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Stagecoach (John Ford, US, 1939) 



The Man From Laramie (Anthony Mann, US, 1955] 

The Searchers (John Ford, US, 1956) 

The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges, US, 1960) 

The Man who Shot Liberty Valance 
(John Ford, US, 1962) 

The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, US, 1969) 

Once Upon a Time in the West 

(Sergio Leone, Italy/US, 1968) 

Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, US, 1992) 
True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, US, 2010) 



Man became the first feature shot entirely in 
Hollywood. More crucial to the growth of the genre 
was James Cruze's The Covered Wagon (1923), a 
two-and-a-half-hour-long reconstruction of one 
of the greatest 1 9th-century treks across the US. 
Its success led to an increase in the production 
of Westerns, and allowed John Ford to make the 
far superior and longer The Iron Horse (1 924). 



□ John Ford's 

Stagecoach (1939) 
was a milestone in 
the history of the 
Western and was the 
first to be shot in Utah's 
Monument Valley. 




124 



MOVIE GENRES 



□ Clint Eastwood 

stars as "Blondie" in 
The Good, the Bad, 
and the Ugly (19 66), 
the third and Last 
of Sergio Leone's 
Spaghetti Westerns 
in which he starred. 



In Howard Hawks' 

Red River { 1948), the 
patriarch (John Wayne) 
and his adopted son 
(Montgomery CLift, 
in his first film) have 
an uncomfortable 
relationship. 




A golden age 

Westerns were enhanced by the coming of 
sound, but the golden age began with John Ford's 
Stagecoach (1939), beautifully shot in the now 
familiar Monument Valley, Utah. It raised the genre 
to artistic status, stamped Ford as one of the great 
directors of Westerns, and ensured John Wayne's 
rise from B-movie obscurity to A-list stardom. 

Most of the leading Hollywood directors made 
Westerns, including German-born Fritz Lang 
with The Return of Frank James (1940), Western 
Union (1941), and Rancho Notorious (1952); and 



Hungarian-born Michael Curtiz with Dodge City 

(1 939) , Virginia City (1 940), and Santa Fe Trail 

(1940) , all three starring Errol Flynn. 

In this rich period, Ford made his resplendent 
Cavalry trilogy: Fort Apache (1948), She Wore 
a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Rio Grande (1950)- 
romantic visions of the Old West with John Wayne 
at their center. Wayne also starred in Howard 
Hawks' Red River (1 948), in which his muscular 
macho security was contrasted with Montgomery 
Cliffs nervy angularity, creating a special tension. 
Hawks went on to make three more fine Westerns 
with Wayne, the best being Rio Bravo (1 959). 

Anthony Mann's five films starred a new, 
tougher actor, James Stewart. His Bend of the 
River (1952) and The Man from Laramie (1955) 
were among the most distinguished Westerns 
of the 1950s. Others include Budd Boetticher's 
taut Westerns that starred Randolph Scott, 
including Seven Men from Now (1956); Henry 
King's The Gunfighter[]%Q}; Fred Zinnemann's 
High Noon (1952); George Stevens' Shane (1953); 
William Wyler's The Big Country (1958); and Delmer 
Daves' Broken Arrow (1950) and Robert Aldrich's 
Apache (1 954)— two of the few films in which 
Native Americans were treated sympathetically. 



WESTERN 125 



The decline of the genre 

In 1950, Hollywood produced 130 Westerns. 
A decade later, this was down to 28. There are 
several explanations for this decline: the increase 
in Western television series, which replaced the 
many B-Western features produced for movie 
theaters; the fact that the ideology that formed 
the Western was becoming outmoded in the new, 
permissive society; and the rise of the more violent 
Spaghetti Westerns, which brought stardom for 
Clint Eastwood. These Italian-produced films were 
influenced in plot and tone by Japanese samurai 
films, as was John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven 
(1960), a transplanting of Akira Kurosawa's 
Seven Samurai (1954). 

The genre was kept alive by Sam Peckinpah's 
nostalgic but harsh views of the Old West and 
revisionist Westerns such as Arthur Penn's Little 
Big Man (1970). However, studios considered the 
Western a moribund genre, hence Kevin Costner's 




long battle to make Dances with Wolves (1990). 
His patience paid off when it won seven Academy 
Awards, including Best Picture. Two years later, 
Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven also won the Best 
Picture Oscar. In a modern twist to the genre, 
the award-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005) 
features a ranch hand and a cowboy in love. 



Q Director and 

star Kevin Costner 
carries an injured 
Mary McDonnell in 
Dances with Wolves 
(1990), in which 
Costner is adopted 
by a Sioux tribe. 



□ Jake Gyllenhaal and 

Heath Ledger star in 
Ang Lee's Brokeback 
Mountain (2005), based 
on E. Annie Proulx's 
short story. 



INTRODUCTION 129 



In an age of internationalism, film has proved the most 
global of the arts. As more and more people are visiting 
the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin, and Mount Fuji, audiences are 
increasingly appreciative of Indian, Russian, and Japanese 
films, as well as the rich output of many other countries. 



In the 1890s, early film came into being 
almost simultaneously in the US, Great 
Britain, France, and Germany. Within 20 
years, film had spread to all parts of the 
globe, developed a sophisticated technology, 
and become a major industry. Today, both 
the sheer diversity of world film and the 
number of movies produced is staggering. 
This chapter attempts to cover as many 
countries and as many significant films as 
possible but a book of any size cannot hope 
to include everything. (The omission of 
countries, such as the Netherlands and 
some from Southeast Asia, is addressed 
in this introduction.) 

In the 1920s, the general public went to 
see silent movies from many parts of the 
world. However, a wider appreciation of world 
film by the West only really began after 
World War II, when Italian, Japanese, German, 
and French motion pictures were once 
more available. The increasing awareness 
of the quality of these films was aided by the 
recognition given each year by the Academy of 
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Vittorio De 

□ Bamboo canes are chopped down with brilliance 
to form palisade cages and improvised spears, one 
of the many dazzling, gravity-defying stunts in Zhang 
Yimou's House of the Flying Daggers (2004). 



Sica's Shoeshine (1946) was the first to receive 
a special award in 1947. In 1956, Federico 
Fellini's LaStrada (1954) became the first 
winner of the new Academy Award for the 
Best Foreign Language (as in non-English 
language) Film. 

In the last few decades, it has gradually 
become recognized that entertainment is not 
the preserve of Hollywood. Gangster movies, 
horror films, whodunits, Westerns, war epics, 
melodramas, musicals, and love stories are 
produced all over the globe. A glance at the 
long list of American remakes of "foreign" 
films will confirm that Hollywood has drawn 
inspiration from world film. Neither is 
it one-way traffic. There are the film noirs 
of Jean-Pierre Melville that are based on 
the American model, and countless quotes 
in French New Wave films that come from 
Hollywood movies. Witness the popularity 
of Spaghetti Westerns and the influence of 
US movies on German directors Wim Wenders 
and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 

From its earliest days, Hollywood has 
benefited from an influx of gifted stars from 
abroad. From Sweden came Greta Gustafsson 
(Garbo) and Ingrid Bergman (mother of 
Isabella Rossellini). From Germany came 
Maria Magdelena Von Losch (Marlene 



130 



WORLD FILM 



□ The blind toddler 

is an orphan girl's 
child in Kurdish-Iranian 
Bahman Ghobadi's 
Turtles Can Fly (2004)- 
a devastating picture 
of the effects of war (in 
this case the second 
Gulf War) on children. 




□ Brigitte Lin plays a 
mysterious drug dealer 
in Wong Kar Wai's 
Chungking Express 
(1994), which has two 
unconnected stories 
set in Hong Kong. 



Dietrich) and from Austria, Hedy Kiesler 
(Hedy Lamarr). Italy gave the US Sofia 
Scicolone (Sophia Loren), while Egypt supplied 
Michel Shalhoub (Omar Sharif). From Brazil 
came Maria do Carmo Miranda Da Cunha 
(Carmen Miranda). Over the last few decades, 
it has become common for actors, such as 
Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja 
Kinski, Isabella Rossellini, Gerard Depardieu, 
Charlotte Rampling, Antonio Banderas, Juliette 
Binoche, Penelope Cruz, Audrey Tatou, and 
Jackie Chan, to move with ease between 



English-speaking and foreign-language films. 
Directors, too, brought their expertise 
to Hollywood, including Victor Sjostrom 
(Sweden), Fritz Lang (Germany), Billy Wilder 
(Austria), Jean Renoir (France), Milos Forman 
(Czechoslovakia) to name but a few. One of 
the first European directors to have a career 
on two continents was Louis Malle, who 
directed Atlantic City (1 980) in the US and 
then returned to his native France for Au 
Revoir Les Enfants (1987). In recent years, 
there has been even more cross-fertilization: 
a New Zealander, Peter Jackson, directed The 
Lord of the Rings (2001-03); and a Mexican, 
Alfonso Cuaron, directed Harry Potter and the 
Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). However, the 
supreme example is Taiwanese-born Ang 
Lee, who has directed movies that range from 
typically English [Sense and Sensibility, 1995) 
to Asian [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 
2000), and American [Brokeback Mountain, 




INTRODUCTION 131 




Q Gael Garcia Bernal 

plays the young Che 
Guevara with Roderigo 
de La Serna as Alberto 
Granado in Brazilian 
Walter Salles' film The 
Motorcycle Diaries (2004). 



2005). Dutch director Paul Verhoeven made 
successful erotic thrillers, such as Spetters 
(1980) and The Fourth Man (1983), in his 
homeland, before crossing the Atlantic to 
make major hits such as RoboCop (1987), Total 
Recall (1990), and Basic Instinct (1992). Other 
notable directors to come from the 
Netherlands were documentary filmmakers 
Joris Ivens and Bert Haantra, and Fons 
Rademakers, who directed The Assault (1 986) — 
winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar. From 
Belgium came Andre Delvaux, whose films, 
which merged dream and reality, put him in 
the tradition of other Belgian artists like Rene 
Magritte. Most conspicuous are the Dardenne 
brothers, Jean-Pierre (born 1951) and Luc 
(born 1954), whose international reputation 
has grown over the years with such realistic 
dramas as The Promise (1996), Rosetta (1999), 
The Son (2002), and The Child (2005). 

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is mostly 
known for popular teenage films and 
musicals. Since 1998, a new generation 



of filmmakers has emerged that includes 
as many female as male directors, writers, 
and producers. The majority of Thai films 
are made for entertainment, mixing comedy, 
melodrama, and music. Wisit Sasanatieng's 
Tears of the Black Tiger (2000) was a 
successful pastiche of such genres. Pen-Ek 
Ratanaruang's musical Monrak Transistor 
(2001) was another Thai film that did well 
internationally, as did the bizarre Tropical 
Malady (2004), directed by Apichatpong 
Weerasethakul. Vietnam's most celebrated 
director is Tran Anh Hung, whose The Scent 
of Green Papaya (1993), Cyclo (1995), and 
The Vertical Rays of the Sun (2000) were 
released worldwide. In the Philippines, Lino 
Brocka gained recognition internationally 
when his films Insiang (1976), Jaguar (1979), 
and Bona (1980) won acclaim at the Cannes 
Film Festival. 

As a result, it could be said that the center 
of film has shifted from its traditional bases 
in the US and Europe to Asia and beyond. 



□ Aoua Sangare stars 

in Yeleen [Brightness, 

1987), Souleymane 
Cisse's magical film 
from Mali that draws 
on African ritual with 
elemental imagery of 
water, fire, and earth. 




132 



WORLD FILM 



Africa 

There are three distinct areas of film production on the African continent, 
all rising out of centuries of colonialism, and mostly divided linguistically 
into films in Arabic, French, and English. Recent years have seen an increase 
in big-budget hits seen by Western audiences. 



□ A young man returns 
home from Europe 
in Abderrahmane 
Sissako's Waiting for 
Happiness (2002), 
a rare film to come 
from Mauritania. 




Many African nations did not have a film industry 
before they became independent of colonial rule 
in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, film has 
begun to flourish and productions have attracted 
international attention. France has been a 
major provider of financial resources for African 
filmmakers, many of whom have received training 
at film schools in Europe. 

From the 1930s, Arab film became synonymous 
with Egyptian film. Soon to become the pre- 
eminent genre, the Egyptian musical made 
its first appearance in 1932 with The Song of the 
Heart, directed by Italian Mario Volpi. However, 
the production of films made in North Africa 
as a whole remained very low until well after 
World War II. It was only with the emergence of 
director Youssef Chahine that Egyptian cinema 
began to be taken seriously internationally. He 
would alternate between big-budget productions, 
such as Alexandria... Why? (1 978) and Adieu 
Bonaparte (1 985); and patently political films, such 
as The Sparrow (1 973), about Egypt's Six-Day War 
against Israel. His film Cairo Station (1958) focused 
on the dispossessed. Chahine's films and Shadi 
Abdelsalam's The Night of Counting the Years (1969), 



about the robbing of mummies' tombs, all 
stood out from the commercial dross of the 
Egyptian film industry. 

In the Maghreb, Algeria's first films about 
independence reflected the struggle for liberation, 
the most famous being Gillo Pontecorvo's 

[what to watch 

The Money Order 

(Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 1968) 

The Night of Counting the Years 
(Shadi Abdelsalam, Egypt, 1969) 

Xala (Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 1975) 

Chronicle of the Burning Years 

(Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, Algeria, 1975) 

Alexandria... Why? (Youssef Chahine, Egypt, 1978) 

Man of Ashes (Nouri Bouzid, Tunisia, 1986) 

Yeelen (Souleymane Cisse, Mali, 1987) 

Yaaba (Idrissa Ouadragoa, Burkina Faso, 1989) 

The Silences of the Palace 
(Moufida Tlatli, Tunisia, 1994) 

Waiting for Happiness 

(Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, 2002) 



AFRICA 133 



The Battle of Algiers (1966), an Italian-Algerian 
co-production. Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina's 
Chronicle of the Burning Years (1975), which traces 
the history of Algeria from 1 939 to 1 954, was 
among the most expensive productions to come 
out of the developing world. Algeria, Morocco, 
and Tunisia have all produced award-winning 
films over the years, such as Tunisian Moufida 
Tlatli's TheSilences of the Palace (1994), both an 
emotionally powerful look at the role of women 
in a changing world and a rare movie by a woman 
filmmaker working in a male-dominated Arab 
country. Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, 
the pre-eminent director of sub-Saharan African 
film, has likewise done some pioneering work, 
thanks to which younger African film directors, 
such as Souleymane Cisse from Mali and Idrissa 
Ouedragoa from Burkina Faso, were able to make 
their mark. FESPACO, the most famous African 




film festival, held biannually in Ouagadougou, 
Burkina Faso, since 1969, has been a wonderful 
shop window for sub-Saharan film. 

Under the years of apartheid, South Africa 
produced very little of worth. Many films post- 
apartheid continued to look back on that period. 
Mapantsula (1988) by Oliver Schmitz, and Graham 
Hood's Oscar-winning Tsotsi (2005), about black- 
on-black violence, look at the present day. 



□ Ousmane Sembene, 

born in 1923, is the 
director of a number 
of acclaimed films, 
and is considered 
the father of black 
African film. 



□ Tsotsi (2005), which 
follows the life of a 
violent gang leader in 
Johannesburg, South 
Africa, won Best 
Foreign Language 
Film at the 2006 
Academy Awards. 



134 



WORLD FILM 



The Middle East 

Although the film of this region has been dominated by films from North 
Africa, particularly Egypt and the Maghreb, there have been significant films 
made in the Middle East, many based on the political tensions in the area. 



El Free Zone (2005) 
stars Natalie Portman 
as an American woman 
in Jordan trying to 
establish her identity in 
the dramatic conditions 
of the country. 




□ Hany Abu-Assad's 
Paradise Now (2005) 
tells of two friends 
recruited for a suicide 
bombing in Tel Aviv. 




In Lebanon, before the long civil war started in 
1975, movie theater attendance was the highest in 
the Arab world (though the country produced few 
features of its own). Syria and Iraq made a number 
of strong documentaries, but like their neighbors, 
turned out few feature films. 

However, at the beginning of the 21st century, the 
tragic situation in the Middle East, particularly 
the tensions between Israel and Palestine, gave 
rise to some of the best films to come from that 
area. Palestinian writer-director Elia Suleiman's 
Divine Intervention (2002) uses black humor to 
examine the situation at an Israeli-Palestinian 
checkpoint. The Syrian Bride (2004), by Israeli 
director Eran Riklis, is also set in no-man's 
land, in an arid area between checkpoints at 
the Israeli and Syrian borders. The first feature 
by Palestinian director Tawfik Abu Wael, Thirst 
(2004) is a beautifully composed film about an 
Arab family living in an abandoned village in a 
dusty corner of Israel. 



Amos Gitai, the Israeli director best known 
internationally, made Free Zone (2005), in which 
three women— an American, an Israeli, and a 
Palestinian— become traveling companions 
in a remote area of Jordan. The controversial 
Foreign Film Academy Award nominee, Paradise 
Now (2005) traces 24 hours in the lives of two 
Palestinian suicide-bombers. Director Hany 
Abu-Assad is a Palestinian born in Israel, and 
he made the story an exciting thriller, while at 
the same time perceptively revealing the minds 
of these "martyrs". 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Divine Intervention 

(Elia Suleiman, Palestine, 2002) 

The Syrian Bride (Eran Riklis, Palestine, 2004) 

Thirst (Tawfik Abu Wael, Palestine, 2004) 

Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine, 2005) 



IRAN 135 



Iran 

In the 1990s, the films of Iran entered the world stage with the gradual thaw 
in the country's strictly controlled popular culture. What was revealed was a 
most original and vibrant national film culture. 



Iran, under its various authoritarian regimes, 
had produced only a few notable films over the 
years. However, in the 1960s, a handful of Iranian 
films began to be seen abroad. Among the first 
was Dariush Mehrjui's The Cow (1 968), about a 
farmer who loses his beloved cow, assumes the 
animal's identity, and slides into madness. This 
minutely observed study of village life and its 
sparse style presaged later Iranian movies. 

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, film 
was condemned for its perceived Western values. 
Nevertheless, in 1983, a Cinema Foundation was 
established to encourage domestic film-making. 
As a result of this support, new directors such as 
Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami emerged 
with a number of cinematic masterpieces. There 
followed many more, including Jafar Panahi, Majid 
Majidi, Marzieh Meshkini, Babak Payami, and 
Makhmalbaf's daughter Samira, who, at 18, directed 
her first feature, The Apple (1998), which launched 
her as a leading figure in world film. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Cow (Dariush Mehrjui, 1968] 
The White Balloon (Jafar Panahi, 1995) 
Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997) 
The Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi, 1997) 
Blackboards (Samira Makhmalbaf, 2000) 

The Day I Became a Woman 

(Marzieh Meshkini, 2000) 

Secret Ballot (Babak Payami, 2001) 
Kandahar (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2001) 
Turtles Can Fly (Bahman Ghobadi, 2004) 



Despite the rigid restrictions imposed by the 
fundamentalist Islamic regime, the majority of 
Iranian film— which is one of the most subtly 
feminist in the world— has managed to find 
ingenious ways of making profound statements 
about the human condition. 



□ Women in 

their colorful but 
imprisoning burqas 
make a journey across 
Afghanistan in Mohsen 
Makhmalbaf's hotly 
topical Kandahar (2001). 



136 



WORLD FILM 



Eastern Europe 

The histories of Poland, Hungary, and former Czechoslovakia in the 
20th century, and of their film industries, follow certain similar patterns — 
independence followed by Nazi subjugation, then repressive Communism, 
liberalization, a hardening of the regime, and freedom. 





QKa/73/(1957) ( afilm 

about the 1 944 Warsaw 
uprising, shows how 
Polish partisans were 
pursued and trapped 
in the sewers by 
Nazi soldiers. 



The first film studio in Poland was built in 
Warsaw in 1 920, two years after the country's 
independence. In 1929, a group of avant-garde 
filmmakers formed START, a society for devotees 
of artistic film. The best known of these directors, 
Aleksander Ford, became a key figure in Polish 
film. His most important "socially useful" films 
were The Street Legion (1 932) and People of 
the Vistula (1936). 

During World War II, filmmaking was still 
permitted in countries under German occupation, 
except in Poland, for fear of a subtle use of 
patriotic references. The devastation of the war 
forced the film industry to begin from scratch. 
The majority of post-war films tended to deal 
with the Nazi occupation, the horrors of the 
ghetto, and the heroes of the resistance. Aleksander 
Ford's Border Street (1948) was one of the first of 
a cluster of Polish films that emerged from the 
rubble of the war. It follows several families, from 
different social classes in pre-war Warsaw, whose 
lives are changed by the tragic events of the period. 



Ford's Five Boys from Barska Street (1 953), 
the first major Polish film in color, was about 
juvenile delinquency. The assistant on the film 
was Andrzej Wajda, whose first feature film, 
A Generation (1 955), was to give a very different 
view of Polish youth. Kanal (1 957) and Ashes 
and Diamonds (1958) completed Wajda's war 
trilogy and brought Polish film to the world's 
attention as never before. 

The late 1 950s and 1 960s were fertile times 
for Polish film, which produced Andrzej Munk's 
Eroica (1957); Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Mother Joan of 
the Angels (1961), set in a 17th-century convent and 
one of the first Polish films seen in the West not 
dealing with a war theme; Roman Polanski's Knife 
in the Water (1 962); Wojciech Has' The Saragossa 
Manuscript (1965); and Jerzy Skolimowski's 
Walkover (1 965). Many of these directors were 
graduates of the excellent film school in Lodz. 
However, after 1968, as in neighboring Hungary and 
former Czechoslovakia, political repression and 
censorship limited freedom of expression, as a 
result of which, film suffered. 




□ Zygmunt Malanowicz and Jolanta Umecka 
embrace in Roman Polanski's first feature, 
Knife in the Water (1 962). This absurdist 
drama of sexual rivalry and the generation 
gap received an Oscar nomination and 
brought Polanski immediate fame. 



EASTERN EUROPE 137 



In the mid-1970s, in the face of censorship, 
a new trend called the Cinema of Moral Concern 
surfaced, characterized by sensitivity to ethical 
problems and a focus on the relationship between 
the individual and the state. Examples are Andrzej 
Wajda's Man of Marble (1976), Krzysztof Zanussi's 
satires Camouflage (1977) and The Constant Factor 
(1980), Agnieszka Holland's Provincial Actors 
(1 979), and Krzysztof Kieslowski's No End (1 984). 

Hungary 

During its brief period under Communism in 1919, 
Hungary became the first country to nationalize 
its film industry, several months ahead of the 
Soviet Union. However, when Horthy's fascist 
government came into power in 1920, it was put 
back into private ownership. Alexander Korda, 
Mihaly Kertesz (Michael Curtiz), Paul Fejos, and 
film theoretician Bela Balazs, all of whom had 
made valuable contributions to Hungarian film, 
were forced to leave the country. The quality of 
films was at its lowest during Hungary's alliance 
with the Axis powers during World War II. The 
first important post-war success was Geza von 
Radvanyi's Somewhere in Europe (1 947), which 




marked the return of Balazs as a screenwriter 
and led to the re-nationalization of the film 
industry. In the late 1950s, helped by the setting 
up of the Balazs Bela Studio, a younger generation 
of filmmakers made their mark: Miklos Jancso 
[The Round-Up, 1965), Istvan Szabo [Father, 1967), 
and Istvan Gaal [The Falcons, 1 970). Gaal's film 
draws an impressive analogy between the taming 
of wild birds and a way of life that requires 
blind obedience. Pal Gabor's Angi Vera (1979), 
which eloquently conveys the repressive 



□ Klaus Maria 
Brandauer (right) 
plays an actor who 
sells his soul when 
working under the 
Nazis in Istvan Szabo's 
Oscar-winning film 
Mephisto (1981). 



□ In Miklos Jancso's 
The Round-Up 

[Szegenylegenyek, 1965), 
a group of peasants is 
tortured in an attempt 
to find the leader of 
a partisan movement. 




WORLD FILM 





Q In Divided We Fall 

(2000), Jan Hrebejk's 
black comedy, Boleslav 
Polivka (center) plays 
an unlikely hero who 
hides his Jewish 
friend— an escapee 
from a concentration 
camp— in his house 
under the nose of a 
Nazi sympathizer, who 
also lives in the house. 



i 




climate of Stalinist Hungary in the late 1940s, 
surprised and impressed critics in the West. 
Marta Meszaros, formerly married to Miklos 
Jancso, also made a reputation with her 
intimist films on the female condition, most 
particularly her three-part "Diary" (1982-90): 
Diary for My Children, Diary for My Loves, and Diary 
for My Mother and Father. Bela Tarr emerged 
in the 1990s as one of the most remarkable of 
European directors, with his seven-and-a-half- 
hour Sa tan tango (1994), and Werckmeister 
Harmonies (2000), in which the long take is 
stretched to its limits. 



Czechoslovakia 

Czechoslovakia became an independent nation 
in 1918, but competition from German and US films 
limited independent Czech film for some time. Two 
films stood out during the end of the silent era: 
Gustav Machaty's Erotikon (1929), which achieved 
much of its erotic effect by symbolic imagery, and 
Curt Junghan's Such is Life (1929), which dealt with 
conditions of working-class life in Prague. However, 
Machaty's greatest claim to fame was Ecstasy (1 933), 
in which the nude scenes played by Hedy Kiesler 
(later Lamarr) caused a furore. The Pope protested 
when it was shown at the Venice Film Festival, the 



EASTERN EUROPE 139 



WHAT TO WATCH 




nude scenes were cut in the US, and Hedy's husband 
tried to buy up all the prints. Protests aside, the film 
is, in fact, full of pastoral beauty. 

In 1933, the Barrandov studios, one of the best 
equipped in Europe, opened in Prague. During the 
war, the Germans took it over, which interrupted any 
advance in the industry. After the war, the national 
film school, FAMU, was set up in Prague, and a new 
generation of directors emerged from it, notably 
Ivan Passer, Jin Menzel, Vera Chytilova, and Milos 
Forma n. Jan Kadar's The Shop on the High Street 
(1 965) was the first Czech film to win a Foreign Film 
Oscar, followed by Menzel's Closely Observed Trains 



Knife in the Water 

(Roman Polanski, Poland, 1962) 



The Shop on the High Street 

(Jan Kadar, Czechoslovakia, 1965) 



The Round-Up (Miklos Jansco, Hungary, 1965) 
Loves of a Blonde 

(Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1965) 

Daisies (Vera Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) 

Closely Observed Trains 

(Jin Menzel, Czechoslovakia, 1966) 

Man of Marble (Andrzej Wajda, Poland, 1976) 

The Three Colours trilogy 

(Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland, 1993-94) 

Divided We Fall 

(Jan Hrebejk, Czech Republic, 2000) 

The Turin Horse 

(Bela Tarr, Hungary, 2011) 




(1966). The Russian invasion of 1968 ended this 
exciting period of activity. Kadar, Passer, and Forman 
left for the US. Chytilova, whose Daisies (1966) was 
the most anarchic film of the period, was silenced. 
The animosity toward the Russians is dealt with 
in Kolya (1996), in which a Czech finds himself 
with a Russian stepson, whom he learns to love. 

Film censorship was less rigorous in Slovakia: 
directors, such as Stefan Uher, Dusan Hanak, and 
Juraj Jakubisko, were able to pursue their careers 
relatively freely. Since the formation of the Czech 
Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the film industries 
have developed their own distinct characters. 



□ Five-year-old Andrei 
Chalimon attempts to 
imitate his musician 
stepfather in the title 
role of Jan Sverak's 
charming Oscar- 
winning Kolya (1996). 



WORLD FILM 



□ Underground (1995), 
by celebrated Bosnian 
director Emir Kusturica, 
is an epic portrait of 
Yugoslavia from 1941 to 
the present. Kusturica 
had earlier won Best 
Director at Cannes 
for Time of the 
Gypsies (1988). 



The Balkans 

Given the political upheavals that this region of Europe has suffered 
since the advent of film, it is not surprising that its film production 
has been sporadic and often traditionalist. However, in recent years, 
these countries have produced a number of talented filmmakers. 



Yugoslavia 

In Yugoslavia, the best of the small output of pre- 
World War II feature films was Mihajlo Popovic's With 
Faith in God (1 931 ), a Serbian World War I epic. After 
1945, the country's films dealt almost exclusively 
with the war, as in the popular "partisan" movies. 
However, it was animation films that made an impact 
abroad, especially through the work of the Zagreb 
school, a refreshing alternative to Walt Disney. 

The best-known directors are Dusan Makavejev, 
officially disapproved of at home due to the sexual 
and political content of his films, and Aleksandar 
Petrovic, whose Three (1 965) and / Even Met Happy 
Gypsies (1967) were nominated for the Best Foreign 
Film Oscar. Bosnian Emir Kusturica burst onto the 
scene in 1981, winning awards with each new film. 



Bulgaria 

In 1915, seven years after gaining independence, 
Bulgaria produced its first feature film, The Bulgarian 
is Gallant. It starred and was directed by Vassil 
Gendov, who also directed Bulgaria's first talkie, 
The Slaves' Revolt (1933). During World War II, 
only propaganda films were allowed and then, 
under Communist rule, features focused on the 
Soviet socialist realism model. As with elsewhere 
in Europe, there was an improvement from the 
1960s, with Vulo Radev's The Peach Thief (1964) 
being among the first internationally important 
productions. Metodi Andonov's The Goat Horn 
(1972)-remade by Nikolai Volev in 1994- 
became the most critically acclaimed 
Bulgarian film of the time. 



Romania 

Romania took a Long time to build the semblance 
of a film industry, which has produced about 1 5 films 
a year from the 1 960s. A breakthrough was made 
with Liviu Ciu Lei 's Forest of the Hanged (1964), which 
won Best Director at Cannes in 1965. This anti-war 
drama had an understated quality, in contrast to 
earlier propaganda epics. Lucian Pintilie, arguably 
the best-known Romanian director, made his first 
feature, Sunday at Six, in the same year. 

Until his death in 1989, Communist despot 
Nicolae Ceausescu controlled the arts with an 
iron fist. During his time in power, rigid censorship 
rules forced directors to employ various metaphors 
to get their films released, and it was not until 16 
years after his death that they could rid themselves 
of these constraints. Although several New Wave 

|"WHAT TO WATCH 

A Matter of Dignity 

(Michael Cacoyannis, Greece, 1957] 

/ Even Met Happy Gypsies 

(Aleksandar Petrovic, Yugoslavia, 1967) 

The Goat Horn 

(Metodi Andonov, Bulgaria, 1972) 

Yol (Yilmaz Guney and Serif Goren, Turkey, 1 982) 

Underground (Emir Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1 995) 

Eternity and a Day 

(Theo Angelopoulos, Greece, 1998] 

Uzak (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, 2002) 

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu 
(Cristi Puiu, Romania, 2005) 

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days 
(Cristian Mungiu, Romania, 2007) 



films can be seen as metaphors of Romanian 
society, they are, at the same time, almost 
documentarylike observations of it— disturbing 
works of intense realism, with underlining black 
humor. The first was Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr. 
Lazarescu in 2005, followed by Catalin Mitulescu's 
The Way I Spent The End of The World, Corneliu 
Porumboiu's 12.08 East of Bucharest, Radu 
Muntean's The Paper Will Be Blue (all 2006); and 
Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 
(2007), which won the Palme d'Orat Cannes in 2007. 

Greece 

Although the first Greek film appeared in 1912, 
long periods of instability crippled any attempts 
at forming a film industry— few features were 
produced until the 1950s. Michael Cacoyannis 
reached the peak of his popularity with Zorba 
the Greek (1964); and since the 1970s, Theo 
Angelopoulos has achieved iconic status. 

Turkey 

Omer Lutfi Akad was the D.W. Griffith of Turkish 
film. His feature In the Name of the Law (1952) 
marked a departure from the cheap melodramas 
being made at the time, but it was almost three 
decades before Yilmaz Guney became the most 
internationally acclaimed director Turkey has 
ever produced. However, several of his best films, 
including Yol (1982), were directed by proxy as 
he languished in prison for his left-wing political 
activities. Since Guney, there has been an impressive 
string of Turkish films including Yesim Ustaoglu's 
Journey to The Sun (1999), Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Uzak 
(2002), and Semih Kaplanoglu's^nge/'s Fall (2005). 



142 



WORLD FILM 



Russia 

In the 1920s, Russian film was the most exciting and experimental in the 
world, until the heavy hand of Stalinism came down with a vengeance. 
Despite occasional masterpieces, it would be many years before the country 
re-emerged to take its place among the great cinematic nations. 




□ A gang of thieves is 

surprised by Mr. West 
and his faithful cowboy 
aide in The Extraordinary 
Adventures of Mr. West 
in the Land of the 
Bolsheviks Mil,). 



There was Little of cinematic interest in pre- 
RevoLution Russia as it was impossible to deal 
with contemporary issues under strict Tsarist 
censorship. Films depended heavily on adaptations 
from literature or the theater, and until World War I, 
foreign films dominated the Russian market. The 
leading director was Yakov Protazanov, who directed 
more than 40 films between 1909 and 1917. He 
was one of the few members of the old guard to 
remain in Russia after the revolution in October 
1917, going on to make the Soviet Union's first 
science fiction movie, Aelita in 1924. 

In their first days of power, the Bolsheviks 
established a State Commission of Education, 
which included an important subsection devoted 
to film. As the new Soviet leader, Lenin realized the 
immense value of film as propaganda, and early 
Soviet film played an important role in getting the 
revolutionary message across to the people, with 
"agitprop" trains (see p. 94) employed to trawl the 
vast country. Film schools were set up in Moscow 
and Petrograd (later Leningrad) in 1918 and the 
film industry was nationalized a year later. 



However, because of the Civil War and the blockade 
of foreign films, film stock, and equipment, it took 
a few years before Russia could start producing 
more than a handful of feature films. 

Things started to change in 1924 as the economy 
improved. The Soviet government declared that 
the state would not interfere in matters of artistic 
style— even non-naturalistic and avant-garde 
expression— but that the films should have a 
revolutionary content. Thus began an exciting 
and fruitful period of filmmaking. Lev Kuleshov, 
one of the first theorists of film, put his research 
at the services of his first feature, the gag-filled 
satire, The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West 
in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924). Using mobile 
cameras, quick cutting, and sequences derived 
from American chase films, the film managed to 
deride the West's stereotyped view of "mad, savage 
Russians" while creating its own stereotyped 
American— the Harold-Lloyd type Mr. West. 

Russian experimentation 

There followed the silent masterpieces of 
Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Alexander 
Dovzhenko, Boris Barnet, Abram Room, Dziga 
Vertov, and the directing duo of Leonid Trauberg 

|WHAT TOW ATCH 

The Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) 
Storm Over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1928) 

Man with a Movie Camera 

(Dziga Vertov, 1929) 

Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930) 

Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II 

(Sergei Eisenstein, 1944/58) 

The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957) 
Ballad of a Soldier (Grigori Chukhrai, 1959) 

The Color of Pomegranates 

(Sergei Parajanov, 1969) 

Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985) 
Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002) 



RUSSIA 143 



and Grigori Kozintsev, all bursting with creative 
enthusiasm. Leading the way was Eisenstein's 
The Strike (1925), for which he used the "dynamic 
montage"— that is, visual metaphors and shock 
cuts. This reached its peak in The Battleship 
Potemkin (1925), with its memorable Odessa 
Steps sequence (see p. 261 ), and October (1 928). 

Taking the same subject as October (the 1917 
Russian Revolution), Pudovkin portrayed a different 
slant in The End of St Petersburg (1 927), while 
Dovzhenko made Earth (1 930), a pastoral symphony 
dedicated to his native Ukraine. Barnet directed 
a number of delightfully fresh satirical comedies 
such as The Girl with the Hatbox (1 927) and The 
House on Trubnaya (1928). Abram Room's Bed 
and Sofa (1 927) used warmth and humor to 
depict a menage-a-trois. Trauberg and Kozintsev's 
film, The New Babylon (1929), set in Paris at the 
time of the Commune in 1871, brilliantly used 
montage and lighting to contrast the lives of the 
rich and the poor. Meanwhile, Vertov continued 
to make documentaries, culminating in Man with 
A Movie Camera (1929). 

Tragically, this great period of Russian 
experimentation came to an end as Stalin 
tightened his grip. More and more of the 
best films, especially those of Eisenstein, were 
attacked for being "bourgeois," due to their use 
of symbolism and modernistic visual style. By 
the end of 1932, the slogan "socialist realism," a 
phrase attributed to Stalin himself, was de rigueur 
in all the arts. Socialist realism was opposed to 
"formalism," or art that put style above content. 
Soviet art had to be optimistic, understandable, 
and loved by the masses. This meant that the 
experimentation that had made Soviet film great 
was now heavily controlled. 

Counterplan (1932), directed by Fridrikh 
Ermler and Sergei Yutkevich, about the foiling 
of a sabotage attempt on a steel plant, was, 
according to one writer, "the first victory of 
socialist realism in Soviet film." 

Nevertheless, in the period before World War II, 
the Soviet Union did produce some films that can 
still be enjoyed today, such as the Hollywood-style 
musicals, Jazz Comedy (1934) and Volga-Volga 
(1938), made by Grigori Aleksandrov, a former 
colleague of Eisenstein. Mark Donskoy's Gorky 
trilogy- The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1 938), My 
Apprenticeship (1939), and My Universities ( 1 94-0) — 



was rich in incident, character, and period detail; 
it was one of the few masterpieces of socialist 
realism. Another was Eisenstein's first film with 
sound, Alexander Nevsky (1938), with a wonderful 
score by Sergei Prokofiev. 

The death of Stalin 

During World War II, the film industry concentrated 
mainly on morale-boosting documentaries. One 
of the few features made was Eisenstein's Ivan 
The Terrible (1944), which was made in two parts, 
the first approved by Stalin, but the second banned 
and not released until 1958. The post-war years 
represented a low point in Soviet film both in 
quality and quantity. It was only after Stalin's 
death in 1953, and Khrushchev's famous speech 
in 1956 (which attacked aspects of Stalinism), 
that it began to pick up. The result of this "thaw" 
was a number of films that merited international 
success. Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes Are 
Flying (1957), a lyrical love story, won the Best 
Film award at Cannes, while Grigori Chukhrai's 
Ballad of a Soldier (1959), an unrhetorical and 
moving portrait of everyday life in wartime Russia, 
won a Special Jury Prize. 

This relative freedom of expression continued 
into the mid-1960s, with some notable films, 
such as Josef Heifitz's The Lady with the Little 
Dog (1959); Kozintsev's Hamlet (1964); Andrei 





□ Mikhail Kalatozov's 
The Cranes Are Flying 

(1957) is a beautiful 
portrayal of love, and 
the horrors of war. 



□ Innokenti 
Smoktunovsky 

stars as the Prince 
of Denmark (left), 
with Viktor Kolpakov 
as the Gravedigger 
\n Hamlet (1964). 



144 



WORLD FILM 



□ Two young women 

confide in each other 
in Vladimir Menshov's 
Oscar-winning Moscow 
Does Not Believe in 
Tears (1980). 



□ Tsar Nicholas II 

and the Russian royal 
family take tea on the 
eve of the Revolution, 
in Aleksandr Sokurov's 
extraordinary one-take 
Russian Ark (2002), 
filmed entirely in 
the Hermitage, 
St. Petersburg. 




Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood (1962); and Sergei 
Parajanov's Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors 
(1964), before repression set in again. Tarkovsky's 
Andrei Rublev (1966) and Parajanov's The Color 
of Pomegranates (1969) were both shelved. 
Despite some exceptions, including Sergei 
Bondarchuk's remarkable eight-hour War and 
Peace (1966-67), good films were few and far 



between until the late 1970s when Vladimir 
Menshov directed Moscow Does Not Believe in 
Tears (1 980), a romantic comedy-drama that won 
the Best Foreign Film Oscar in the same year. 

The post-Communist era 

After the fall of Communism, there was a phase 
when most Russian films were either kitsch or 
imitations of American action movies. However, 
after its initial reaction against the past, Russia 
once again became one of the leading cinematic 
countries, with films such as Pavel Chukhrai's 
The 7/j/ef (1997); Aleksandr Sokurov's Russian Ark 
(2002); and Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Return, Aleksei 
German Jr.'s The Last Train, and Boris Khlebnikov 
and Aleksei Popogrebsky's Koktebel (all 2003). 

The breakup of the Soviet Union meant 
that the former Soviet Republics were able 
to establish films characteristic of their region, 
good examples of which are cosmopolitan Georgian 
director Otar losseliani's Brigands-Chapter VII 
(1 996) and Jamshed Usmonov's Angel on the 
Right (Tajikistan, 2002). 




THE NORDIC COUNTRIES 145 



The Nordic Countries 

Considering the small size of their populations, the cinematic contribution 
of the Nordic countries, led by Sweden and Denmark, has been phenomenal. 
From Ingmar Bergman to Lars von Trier, many directors from this part of 
Europe have been highly influential. 



In 1906, Nordisk Film (the oldest existing film 
company in the world) provided the impetus for the 
rise of Danish film. Some of the early Danish films 
had "shocking" subjects with such titles as The 
White Slave Trade (1 91 0), The Morphine Takers (1911), 
and Opium Dreams (19U). Production dipped after 
World War I and took a long time to recover, forcing 
Denmark's most famous directors, Carl Dreyer and 
Benjamin Christensen, to seek work elsewhere. In 
Sweden, Dreyer shot The Parson's Widow (1920) and 
Christensen made his most famous film, Witchcraft 
through the Ages (1922), a semi-documentary movie 
made using a series of tableaux inspired by artists 
Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. Dreyer went 
back to Denmark during World War II, and made 
one of his best films, Day of Wrath (1943). However, 
fearing imprisonment by Nazis for what were seen 
as allusions to the tyranny of the occupation in the 
film, he fled to Sweden until after the war. Among 
the light comedies and soft porn produced in 
Denmark in the 1950s, only Dreyer's Ordet (1955), 
which won the Golden Bear in Berlin, stood out. 

Notable Danish films from the 1 960s were Pa lie 
Kjaerulff-Schmidt's Once There Was a War (1966), 
about a boy in Copenhagen during the occupation, 
and Henning Carlsen's Hunger (1 966), adapted from 
Knut Hamsun's novel about a penniless writer. 



[ WHAT TO WATCH 

The Phantom Carriage 

(Victor Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) 

Day of Wrath (Carl Dreyer, Denmark ,1943) 
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1966) 
Babette's Feast (Gabriel Axel, Denmark, 1 987) 
Festen (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, 1998) 
The Idiots (Lars von Trier, Denmark, 1998) 

Songs from the Second Floor 

(Roy Andersson, Sweden, 2000) 

O'Horten (Bent Hamer, Norway, 2007) 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Niels Arden Oplev, 
Sweden/Denmark/Germany/Norway, 2009) 




Swedish film 

In Sweden, the Svenska Bio studio was founded in 
1907, and two years later, Charles Magnusson 
joined as production manager. In 1912, he signed 
up two directors, Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz 
Stiller, who were to transform Swedish film. 
In the same year, Magnusson and Julius Jaenzon 
co-directed The Vagabond's Galoshes, based on 
a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, which had 
sequences shot on location in France and the 
US, and included an early tracking shot. 

Mauritz Stiller made sophisticated, ironic sex 
comedies, such as Love and Journalism (1916) 
and Erotikon (1920), before moving closer to the 
more somber Swedish literary tradition with films 
based on the novels of Selma Lagerlof. Sjostrom, 
with Karin, Daughter of Ingmar (1920) and The 
Phantom Carriage (1921), and Stiller, with SirArne's 
Treasure (1919) and Greta Garbo's first feature film, 
The Saga ofGosta Berling (1924), gave Sweden 



□ Pia Degermark 

stars in the title role 
of Bo Widerberg's 
lyrical Elvira Madigan 
(1967), set to the 
strains of Mozart's 
Piano Concerto No. 21 . 
Degermark won Best 
Actress at Cannes for 
her role. 



WORLD FILM 




□ Bibi Andersson 

(Left) and Liv Ulmann 
play women who 
swap identities, 
in Ingmar Bergman's 
Persona (1966). 



□ Swedish experts 

arrive to examine the 
domestic habits of 
Norwegian bachelors 
in Bent Hamer's 
quirky satire Kitchen 
Stories (2003). 



a reputation for making films 
of high artistic quality. When 
Sjostrom, Stiller, and Garbo left 
for Hollywood in the mid-1920s, 
Swedish film suffered. The only 
^ director of note in the 1930s 
^^Z^, was Gustaf Molander, whose 

yl most famous film was 
' Intermezzo (1936), a weepie 
in which the young Ingrid 
Bergman had her first 
starring role. Producer David 
0. Selznick saw it and offered Bergman a contract 
and a Hollywood-style remake of the film two 
years later. One of the most significant Swedish 
films of the 1 940s was Alf Sjbberg's Frenzy (1944), 
about misunderstood youth. It not only launched 
26-year-old Ingmar Bergman— whose first 
screenplay this was— and teenage actress Mai 
Zetterling, but instigated the renaissance of 
Swedish film. From his debut film, Crisis 
(1946), Bergman's talent was immediately 
recognized, and from the 1950s, he personified 
Swedish film. Other directors, such as Arne 
Mattsson [One Summer of Happiness, 1951) and 
Arne Sucksdorff [The Great Adventure, 1953) 
also gained some recognition abroad. 

In the 1960s, a younger generation of directors 
emerged such as Bo Widerberg, most renowned 
for the tragic love story, Elvira Madigan (1967), 



and Vilgot Sjoman, who caused a scandal with the 
sexually explicit I Am Curious Yellow (19 '67) and I Am 
Curious Blue (1968). Mai Zetterling's first two films 
as director, Loving Couples (1964) and Night Games 
(1966), were wickedly sensuous Strindbergian 
dramas with a feminist twist. 

However, Ingmar Bergman continued to cast his 
shadow. Following his classics of the 1950s, notably 
The Seventh Seal (see p. 299) and Wild Strawberries 
(both 1957), he made a series of psychodramas 
(such as Persona, 1 966), most of them starring Liv 
Ullmann. (In 2000, Ullmann would direct Faithless, 
a compelling film about their relationship, written 
by Bergman.) She also starred in Jan Troell's The 
Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972), two 
heartfelt sagas of Swedes who emigrated to the 
US in the 19th century. In 1959, Ullmann had her 
first starring role in The Wayward Girl. This tale 
of sexual liberation was the last film by Edith 
Carlmar, Norway's first female director, who 
made ten features between 1949 and 1959. 
In 1957, another Norwegian film had made 
an impact internationally— Arne Skouen's Nine 
Lives— based on the real-life experience of 
resistance fighter, Jan Baalsrud. 

Finland's film of note in the 1950s was Edvin 
Laine's The Unknown Soldier (1955)— still the 
country's highest-grossing film ever. Jorn Donner 
made many films dealing with sexuality. He was 
Finland's best-known director until the arrival of 




THE NORDIC COUNTRIES 147 




the idiosyncratic Aki Kaurismaki, who, in the 1980s, 
put the country firmly on the cinematic map with 
Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989), Drifting 
Clouds (1996), and The Man Without a Past (2002). 

Like Kaurismaki, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson from 
Iceland is the sole international representative 
of his country. He started to gain wide recognition 
in the 1 990s with offbeat films like Cold Fever 
(1995) and Devil's Island (1996). 

Films from the Baltic countries that were 
emerging from Soviet domination, tentatively 
began to be recognized abroad after 2000. These 
included Kristijonas Vildziunas's The Lease 
(Lithuania, 2002), Laila Pakalnina's The Python 
(Latvia, 2003), and Jaak Kilmi and Rene 
Reinu magi's Revolution of Pigs (Estonia, 2004). 

A creative explosion 

The 1980s onward have been a time of great 
creativity in the Nordic countries. In Denmark, it 
began when Danish films won Best Foreign Film 
Oscars two years in succession: Gabriel Axel's 
Babette's Feast (1 987) and Bille August's Pelle 
the Conqueror (1987). In 1995, Lars von Trier and 
Thomas Vinterberg jointly formulated the artistic 
manifesto Dogme 95, which turned low-budget film 
aesthetics into a rich cinematic principle. Among 



the Dogme films to make an impact worldwide 
were Vinterberg 's Festen [The Celebration], 
von Trier's The Idiots (both 1998), S0ren Kragh- 
Jacobsen's Mifune (1999), Lone Scherfig's Italian 
for Beginners (2000), and Annette Olesen's 
Minor Mishaps (2002). 

Notable movies from Sweden include Lukas 
Moodysson's comedy-drama Together (2000), 
Roy Andersson's Songs from the Second Floor 
(2000), and Bjorn Runge's Daybreak (2003). 
Norway had hits with Ola Solum's Orion's Belt 
(1985), Nils Gaup's Pathfinder (1987), and Knut 
Erik Jensen's documentary Cool and Crazy (2001 ) 




□ Leningrad Cowboys 
Go America (1989) is 
a typically idiosyncratic 
film by Finnish director 
Aki Kaurismaki. It tells 
the story of a group of 
Soviet rock musicians. 



□ In a remote and 
austere Danish town, 

guests enjoy a 
sumptuous, once-in-a- 
lifetime meal prepared 
by a French cook 
(Stephane Audran), in 
Babette's Feast (1987). 



148 



WORLD FILM 



Germany 

Despite the considerable contribution that Germany has made to the history 
of film, there was a wide gap between its greatest period — the Silent Era — 
and the new dawn of German film in the 1970s, almost half a century later. 



Bln 777e Golem (1915), 
the first of several 
versions of the old 
Jewish Legend, the 
clay monster (Paul 
Wegener) contemplates 
his victim. 



"Never before and in no other country have images 
and language been abused so unscrupulously as 
here. Nowhere else have people suffered such 
a loss of confidence in images of their own, their 
own stories and myths, as we have," proclaimed 
German director Wim Wenders in 1977. Wenders 
was referring to the fatal legacy of Nazism, which 
permeated so many German films, whether from 
the Federal Republic (West Germany) or the 
Democratic Republic (East Germany). This 
permeation took place mainly between 1949 
and 1989, but also before and after that period. 

Much of this is expounded by critic Siegfried 
Kracauer in his book, From Caligari to Hitler (1947), 
which analyzed the German psyche through the 
country's films. The book's starting point is Robert 
Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, see p. 259), 
which was to become a trademark of German film 
in the 1920s, with its stylized, distorted studio sets, 
artificial lighting, and shadows. 




The Silent Age 

Before World War I, there were 2,000 movie 
theaters and two large film studios near Berlin. 
Most German films were farcical comedies 
and static adaptations from literature and the 
stage. Nevertheless, there were some films that 
anticipated the expressionist style of Dr. Caligari, 
such as the first of the three versions of The 
Student of Prague (1913), an early spark that ignited 
German film's love of supernatural subjects, 
leading in turn to the making of expressionist 
classics. The film starred Paul Wegener, who sells 
his reflection to obtain the means to woo the girl 
of his choice. Wegener also played the role of the 
monster in The Golem (1915), which he co-directed 
with Henrik Galeen. 

Film production increased dramatically during 
World War I because films from enemy countries— 
the US, France, and England— were not shown 
in Germany. The renowned company UFA 
(Universum Film Aktiengesellschaft) was formed 
in 1917 and remained the dominant force in the 
industry until the end of World War II. Among 
the directors who emerged at this time were 
F.W. Murnau, Paul Leni, Fritz Lang, and Ernst 
Lubitsch. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), Leni's 
Waxworks (1924), and Lang's two-part Dr. Mabuse 
the Gambler (1922) and Metropolis (1927) were 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau, 1924) 

Pandora's Box (G.W. Pabst, 1929) 

The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1 930) 

M (Fritz Lang, 1931) 

The Bridge (Bernhard Wicki.1959) 

Kings of the Road[W\m Wenders, 1976) 

The Marriage of Maria Braun 

(Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1978) 

The Tin Drum (Volker Schlondorff, 1979) 
Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, 1981) 
Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998) 



GERMANY 149 




expressionistic masterpieces. Lubitsch was 
also directing Lavish historical romances, such 
as Madame Du Barry (1919), Anne Boleyn (1920), 
and Pharaoh's Wife (1922). 

At the same time, there were the kammerspiel 
(chamber play) films, chiefly Lupu Pick's Shattered 
(1921) and Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924). Two 
other popular genres also emerged— "street films" 
such as G.W. Pabst's The Joyless Street (1925), with 
20-year-old Greta Garbo (in her last European film); 
and "mountain films," which focused on man's 
battle against Nature. The latter was exemplified by 
the films of Arnold Fanck, the best being The White 
Hell ofPitzPalu (1929). Appearing in four of Fanck's 
films was director Leni Riefenstahl, whose first 
feature as a director, The Blue Light (1932) was 
a similar "mountain film." 

The end of the Golden Age 

Before the Golden Age was terminated by Hitler, 
there were a number of significant sound films: 
Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel (1930), 
Pabst's Westfront 1918 (1930) and The Threepenny 
Opera (1931), and Leontine Sagan's Madchen in 
Uniform (1931), about a lesbian relationship. Fritz 
Lang's M (1931), with Peter Lorre as a child killer, 
and Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) were also 
produced during this period. The latter, made as 
Hitler seized power, had the mad villain expressing 
sentiments too close for Nazi comfort. This provoked 
Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, to 
ask Lang to change the last reel. Lang refused 
to do so and fled the country. 

All filming now came under the control of 
Goebbels, who also purged all Jews from the 
industry. More than 1 ,000 films were made under 
the Nazis, most of them frivolous comedies and 
musicals, balanced with a number of anti-Semitic 
propaganda pieces, including Jew Suss and The 
Eternal Jew (both 1 940). Other propaganda films 
were Hitlerjunge Quex (1933), and Riefenstahl's 
Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938). 
One of the few movies to survive the period was 
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen ( 1 943) , 
an elaborate fantasy, superbly photographed 
in Agfacolor. It was produced to celebrate the 
25th anniversary of UFA studios. 

After the war, it took just as long to rebuild 
the film industry as it did to rebuild the now 
Allied-occupied country. Almost all the production 




□ EmilJannings 

features as a proud 
hotel doorman who 
loses his job and is 
reduced to a lavatory 
attendant in F. W. 
Murnau's The Last 
Laugh (1924). 



facilities, including UFA and Tobis studios, were 
in the Russian zone and were taken over by DEFA, 
the newly formed State film company. Most of the 
post-war films (known as "rubble films") in both 
East and West Germany were marked by strong 
sociological content, in an attempt to come to 
terms with bitter reality. After the division of 
Germany in 1949, the two industries developed 
separately— East Germany made films with a heavy 
political slant, while West Germany, in contrast, 
turned out more escapist entertainment. 



□ The astonishing 
12-year-old David 
Bennent plays Oskar 
in Volker Schlondorff's 
Oscar-winning The Tin 
Drum (1979), based on 
an allegorical novel 
on Nazism. 




150 



WORLD FILM 



□ In Wim Wenders' 

Wings of Desire (1987), 
an angel (Bruno Ganz) 
falls in love with a 
trapeze artist played 
bySolveig Dommartin. 



□ Lola (Franka 
Potente) has twenty 
minutes to find 100,000 
Deutschmarks to stop 
her boyfriend robbing 
a grocery store, in Tom 
Tykwer's fast-paced hit 
film Run Lola Run (1998). 




A slow rebirth 

The 1950s was a fallow period for German films, 
although they produced several stars, such as 
Romy Schneider, Horst Buchholz, Curd Jurgens, 
and Maria Schell, all of whom became internationally 
recognized. The only film of much note was Bernhard 
Wicki's The Bridge (1 959), about seven schoolboys 
who, drafted into the dregs of Hitler's army in 1945, 
are asked to defend a bridge against American 
tanks, which they do to the death. 




In the early 1960s, West German filmmaker 
Alexander Kluge wrote a manifesto demanding 
subsidies and the setting up of a film school. It paved 
the way for a new wave of directors including Volker 
Schlbndorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner 
Herzog, and Wim Wenders. There followed Hans- 
Jurgen Syberberg, with his attempts to demystify 
Germany's cultural and historical past; Edgar Reitz, 
whose Heimat (made in a series from 1984-2005) 
mirrored modern German history; and feminist 
filmmakers Margarethe von Trotta and Helma 
Sanders-Brahms. Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot 
(1981 ), Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall (2004), and 
Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye Lenin! (2003) dealt 
with recent German history. 

As the Nazi period— a subject that dominated 
the country's films from the 1960s— recedes into 
the past, new, more confident German films have 
emerged, typified by Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run 
(1 998), which cleverly covers the same time span 
in three different ways; Hans Weingartner's The 
Edukators (2004), about a group of anarchists; and 
German-born Turk Fatih Akin's Head-On (2004), 
a cry of rage on behalf of Turkish immigrants. 



FRANCE 151 



France 

No other country, except the US, has contributed so much to the technical 
and artistic development of film than France. In fact, it could be argued that 
France has an even more enviable record, consistently producing films 
of both commercial and artistic merit. 



Though there is still a dispute as to which 
country invented film, what is certain is that 
the Lumiere brothers of France were the first to 
exploit it commercially. They first showed their 
films to the general public in Paris on December 
28, 1895, the date generally acknowledged as 
marking the birth of film. Not long after this, 
film producers Leon Gaumont and Charles Pathe, 
realizing the commercial potential of the new 
medium, began to build their movie empires. 
Alice Guy-Blache, in charge of production at 
Gaumont, became the first woman director 
with La Fee Aux Choux [The Good Fairy and the 
Cabbage Patch, 1896). 

Some of the earliest French films, besides 
the magic cinematic tricks of Georges Melies, 
were reproductions of classic plays that typically 
consisted of a series of tableaux. Early stars 
included legendary stage actress Sarah Bernhardt 
who starred in Queen Elizabeth (1912), which was 
distributed successfully in the US. However, 
the most famous French name there was that 
of elegant comedian Max Linder, who influenced 
Charlie Chaplin and other great comics of the 

[what to watch 

Napoleon (Abel Gance, 1927) 
LAtalante (Jean Vigo, 1934) 
La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937) 
Le Jour se Leve (Marcel Came, 1939) 

Diary of a Country Priest 

(Robert Bresson, 1951) 

Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959) 
Jules et Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1962) 
Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) 
LaHaine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995) 
The Taste of Others (Agnes Jaoui, 2000) 
The Class (Laurent Cantet, 2008) 
A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009) 
Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois, 2010) 




silent screen. At the same time, Louis Feuillade 
was making his serials: Fantdmas (1913-14), about 
a diabolical criminal, and Les Vampires (1915-16). 

World War I disrupted French film production, 
allowing American film to become more dominant 
in Europe. After the war, the French developed 
it as an art form. Film theoretician Ricciotto 
Canudo referred to film as "The Seventh Art" and 
one of the first serious critics, Louis Delluc, an 
important director in his own right, coined the 
word cineaste (filmmaker). The Prix Louis Delluc 
has been awarded annually since 1937 to the best 
French movie of the year. Germaine Dulac directed 
The Seashell and the Clergyman (1 928), which was 
probably the first surrealist film, while Dulac's 
The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923) is recognized 
as the first feminist movie. Other firsts include 
the use of slow motion in Jean Epstein's The Fall 
of the House of Usher (1928), and the blurred image 
[flou] in Marcel LHerbier's El Dorado (1921). Abel 
Gance was a towering figure in French film, and 
was already using split-screen techniques in 
J accuse! (1919)— long before his masterpiece 
Napoleon (1927). 

The coming of sound 

From the 1930s, Jean Renoir, Marcel Pagnol, 
and Sacha Guitry relished using dialogue, while 
Rene Clair made musicals. This period was 
characterized by "poetic realism" as seen in 
the work of Marcel Carne [LeJourse Leve, 1939), 
Jean Renoir [La Bete Humaine, 1 938), and 



Q Louis Feuillade's 
five-episode Fantdmas 

(1913-U) puts an arch 
criminal and master 
of disguise (Rene 
Navarre) in a variety 
of tricky situations. 



152 



WORLD FILM 



□ Jean Gabin (center) 
plays a gangster hiding 
from the authorities, in 
Julien Duvivier's Pepe 
le Moko (1937). 





□ Marcel Carne's 
Les Enfants du 
Paracf/s (1945) is a 
tale of ill-fated love. 



JuLien Duvivier (Pepe le Moko, 1937); all three films 
starred the charismatic Jean Gabin. The German 
occupation of France in 1940 sent Renoir, Clair, 
Duvivier, and German-born Max Ophuls into 
self-exile in Hollywood. 

Carne remained in France, however, as did Jean 
Cocteau, Jacques Becker, Claude Autant-Lara, 
Henri Clouzot, and Robert Bresson. All made 
escapist films that avoided propaganda and 

the censor. After Liberation, Cocteau, 
Clouzot, Becker, and Bresson made some 
of their best work, while Renoir, Clair, 
and Ophuls made welcome returns. 
In 1946, the Centre National du Cinema 
Francais (CNC) was set up. One of its 
first actions was to protect the French 
film industry against the influence of 
foreign films— particularly American— 
by limiting the number shown. It 
also helped finance independent 
productions, many of which reflected the social 
and political climate of the post-war years, with 
a return to realism and film noir— the master of 
which was Jean-Pierre Melville. 



However, in the 1950s, the veteran directors still 
dominated. Some, such as Marcel Carne, who had 
made the internationally acclaimed Les Enfants 
du Paradis (1 945) during the occupation, saw their 
reputations gradually decline. Many succumbed 
to the lure of commercial film, turning out lavish 
but uninspired color movies, often in lucrative 
co-productions with Italy. 

There was also a literary tradition pursued 
by Claude Autant-Lara, who adapted Stendhal, 
Maupassant, and Dostoevsky to the screen. The 
French stars of the 1 950s were, to a great extent, 
the French stars of the 1930s and 1940s— Jean 
Gabin, Fernandel, Edwige Feuillere, Gerard 
Philipe, Danielle Darrieux, and Pierre Fresnay. 

The first rumblings of discontent were given 
influential expression in 1 948 by Alexandre Astruc, 
in an article called The Birth of the NewAvant- 
Garde: Le Camera Stylo. Astruc fulminated against 
the assembly-line method of producing movies, 
which the French industry had inherited from 
Hollywood, and where front-office interference 
ensured that maverick films were tailored to fit 
tried-and-tested formulas. 



FRANCE 153 



Cahiers du Cinema 

In 1951, critic Andre Bazin founded Cahiers 
du Cinema, the most influential film magazine. 
Several young critics on the magazine decided 
to take practical action in their battle against 
traditional, literary French films, or cinema de papa, 
by making movies themselves, taking advantage 
of the subsidies brought in by the Gaullist 
government. The leading figures of this movement, 
which soon became known as the "French New 
Wave," were Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, 
Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, 
Eric Rohmer, and Louis Malle. This core group of 
directors initially collaborated and assisted each 
other, helping in the development of a common 
and distinct use of form, style, and narrative. This 
made their work instantly recognizable, and their 
influence is still felt across the film world. 

In the 1980s, three young directors— Jean- 
Jacques Beinex, Luc Besson, and Leos Carax— 
gave a new, "postmodern" face to French film, 
deriving their aesthetics for their cool thrillers 
from commercials and pop videos. Women have also 
been among the first rank of French directors. After 
Agnes Varda and Marguerite Duras had become 
established, there followed Yannick Bellon, Nelly 
Kaplan, Coline Serreau, Diane Kurys, and Claire 
Denis; and excellent new French films and directors 
continue to emerge today. Examples include social 




satires (Laurent Cantet's Human Resources, 1999 
and Time Out, 2001); sophisticated comedies (Agnes 
Jaoui's The Taste of Others, 2000 and Look at Me, 
2004); personal dramas (Francois Ozon's Five Times 
Two, 2004 and Time to Leave, 2005); films of urban 
decay (Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine, 1995); sexual 
explorations (Catherine Breillat's Romance, 1999 
and Gaspard Noes Irreversible, 2002); and romantic 
comedies (Jean-Pierre Jeunet's4me//e, 2001). 




□ Jacques Tati as 

Monsieur Hulot finds 
it difficult to enter 
the ultra-modern 
house of his brother- 
in-law (Jean-Pierre 
Zola) in Mon OncLe 
[My Uncle, 1958). 



□ Claude Laydu, in 

the title role of Robert 
Bresson's poignant 
Diary of a Country Priest 
(1951), plays a man 
isolated and assailed 
by self-doubt. 



154 



WORLD FILM 



Italy 

Italy has had a profound influence on film style, particularly within 
three periods: pre-World War I with mammoth epics; the immediate 
post-World War II of the neorealists (see box, p. 286); and from 1960 to 
the mid-1970s, with the "second film renaissance" led by Federico Fellini. 



□ Cabiria (19U), 
Giovanni Pastrone's 
pioneering epic, 
required huge sets 
and took six months 
to shoot in studios 
and on Location. 



□ Sophia Loren 

stars in Vittorio 
De Sica's Two Women 
(1960) forwhich she 
gained the rare honor 
of winning a Best 
Actress Oscar for a 
foreign-Language film. 




In 1 905, the first Italian studios were built. They were 
owned by two of the largest production companies, 
Cines and Itala, both of which made successful 
costume dramas. At Cines, Mario Caserini directed 
Giovanna d'Arco (1908) and Ubaldo Maria del Colle 
made The Last Days of Pompeii (1913); while at Itala, 
Giovanni Pastrone made The Fait of 7roy (1911) and, 
most significantly, Cabiria (191 4). The latter, which 
tells of the adventures of a Sicilian slave girl rescued 
by the muscular Maciste, took more than six months 




to shoot and contained technical innovations such 
as dolly and crane shots. Its success in the US 
inspired D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille to 
embark on large-scale productions. These early 
spectacles would be the prototypes for "peplum" 
("sword and sandal") epics, popular in the 1950s. 

World War I and competition from the US put 
an end to big production spectacles, and all the 
studios had closed down by 1922. Ironically, it 
was Mussolini's Fascist regime that revived Italian 
film. The film school, Centra Sperimentale di 
Cinematografia, was founded in 1935, and Cinecitta 
Studios (soon to be known as "Hollywood on the 
Tiber") was opened by Mussolini. 

Although Italian film in the 1 930s was dominated 
by "White Telephone" films (superficial tales of the 
wealthy) and propaganda films that looked back on 
the glory that was Rome, such as Scipione iAfricano 
(1937), there were some notable exceptions. Mario 
Camerini's What Scoundrels Men Are! (1932), the 
first Italian film to be shot entirely on location, 
and Alessandro Blasetti's Four Steps in the Clouds 
(1942), anticipated neorealism by using humble 
characters and ordinary backgrounds. 

The neorealist movement 

Luchino Visconti's Ossessione (1 943, see p. 282), 
is regarded by many as the first neorealist movie. 
This label was applied to any post-Liberation film 
that dealt with the working class, and was shot on 
location, whether with actors or a non-professional 
cast. One of the key figures of the movement was 
Cesare Zavattini, who wrote scripts for almost all 
of Vittorio De Sica's films from 1 944-73, including 
Bicycle Thieves (1948, see p. 286) and The Garden 
of the Finzi-Continis (1970). Although the world 
praised Italian neorealist films, they only made 
up a small percentage of production. After the war, 
Italian audiences preferred escapist entertainment, 
such as comedies starring Toto and Alberto Sordi. 

By 1950, Italian neorealism began to decline, 
though De Sica's Umberto D. (1 952) and The Roof 
(1 956) continued the tradition, and some younger 



directors, such as Pier Paolo PasoLini in his first film 
Accattone (1961), showed its influence, as did some 
films from countries as diverse as Brazil and Iran. 
Roberto Rossellini, whose Rome, Open City (1945) 
and Paisa (1946) are among the best examples of 
neorealism, began to move away from the style, 
with spiritual melodramas starring Ingrid Bergman; 
and both Visconti and De Sica abandoned many of 
the principles of neorealism. The 1950s was the 
time of "peplum" movies and frivolous vehicles 
for international stars, such as Silvana Mangano, 
Gina Lollobrigida, and Sophia Loren. 

The 1960s heralded a golden age of Italian film. 
The watershed year was 1 960, which saw the 
release of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (see 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

The Flowers of St. Francis 
(Roberto Rossellini, 1950) 

Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952) 

La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1 961 ) 

The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1 963) 

The Gospel According to St. Matthew 

(Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964) 

Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973) 

1900 (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976) 

Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) 

llPostino (Michael Radford, 1994) 

The Best of Youth (Marco Tullio Giordana, 2003) 

Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, 2008) 

Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009) 



p. 305), Luchino Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers, 
Michelangelo Antonioni's LAvventura (see p. 307), 
and Vittorio De Sica's Two Women. Then came a 
flood of remarkable films from these four masters 
as well as from Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci [The 
Conformist, 1970, see p. 31 5), Marco Bellocchio, 
Ermanno Olmi, Ettore Scola, Francesco Rosi, 
and the Taviani brothers. At the same time, 
Sergio Leone and others were making "Spaghetti 
Westerns" (see pp.1 22-25), injecting new life into 
the genre. There was also Italian horror film, 
whose leading practitioners were Mario Bava 
and Dario Argento. 

Following a lull in the 1980s, the industry was 
given a boost by a wave of films by new directors. 
At the forefront of this were Giuseppe Tornatore 
with Cinema Paradiso (1988, see p. 330), Gabriele 
Salvatores with Mediterraneo (1991), and Roberto 
Ben igni with Life is Beautiful 
(1997). All won Best Foreign 
Film Oscars. There were many 
other films of quality that kept 
interest in Italian film alive, 
notably Gianni Amelio's Open 
Doors (1990) and The Keys to 
the House (2004), // Postino 
(1994) by Michael Radford, Nani 
Moretti's The Son's Room (2000), 
and Marco Tullio Giordana's 
The Best of Youth (2003). 

□ Jasmine Trinca and Luigi Lo 
Cascio star in the 383-minute 
The Best of Youth (2003). 



156 



WORLD FILM 



United Kingdom 



Despite overwhelming competition from US films, British film has 
managed to survive in the shadow of its perceived rival in Hollywood. 
Creating films with a distinctly British flavor, it continues to export its 
talented directors and stars. 



□ Cecil Hepworth's 
Rescued by Rover 

(1905) tells the 
story of a collie dog 
who rescues a baby 
abducted by gypsies. 




One of the first British production companies was 
founded as early as 1898, by an American, Charles 
Urban. Cecil Hepworth was one of the first English 
directors to realize the potential of the medium, his 
most famous film being Rescued by Rover (1905), a 
seven-minute thriller made on a budget of 8 pounds. 
Two directors of the Silent Era who stood out were 
George Pearson and Maurice Elvey. 

Some soon-to-be important figures began making 
films in the 1920s: producer Michael Balcon, who 
would be the main force behind the films produced 
at Ealing Studios; Alfred Hitchcock (see p. 210), who 
was already gaining a reputation as a master of 
suspense with films such as The Lodger 
(1927); Victor Saville, who later directed three 
musicals with Britain's top musical-comedy 
star Jessie Matthews in the 1 930s; and 
Herbert Wilcox, who made several films 
during the 1930s and 1940s. 

To counteract the dominance of 
American films, a British quota system 
was introduced in 1927, underwhich 
exhibitors were obliged to show a 5 
percent quota of British films, increasing 
to 20 percent by 1935. This led to an 
increase in the production of British 
films, but also had the adverse effect 
of encouraging cheap and inferior films, 
known as "quota quickies." 

The first British talkie was Blackmail 
(1929), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 
who would go on to make some of 
the best British films of the 1930s. 
Alexander Korda, a Hungarian emigre, 
formed the production company London 
Films and built Denham Studios. He 
I d i rected The Private Life of Henry VIII 
m (1 933), which broke US box office 

records and gave Charles Laughton the 
■ first Best Actor Oscar for a British film. 
During World War II, there were 
some excellent morale-boosting 
m features and documentaries by 




□ Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, the 
most glamorous couple in British film, 
are seen here in their first of three films 
together, Fire Over England (1937). 

directors such as Humphrey Jennings [London Can 
Take It!, 1940); Carol Reed [The Way Ahead, 1944); 
David Lean and Noel Coward [In Which We Serve, 
1942); Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 
[The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, 1 943); 
and Laurence Olivier, who made Henry V(1944) a 
patriotic pageant. Olivier also acted with Vivien Leigh 
in three films, including Fire Over England (1937). 

After the war, entertainment was richly provided 
by the Ealing comedies (see p. 90). However, war 
films such as Michael Anderson's The Dam Busters 
and Guy Hamilton's The Colditz Story (both 1955) 
continued to be made. In the late 1950s, younger 



UNITED KINGDOM 157 




filmmakers began to feel that British films did not 
address contemporary issues. The change came 
about with Jack Clayton's Room at the Top (1959), 
which treated class and sex with a refreshing 
frankness. A series of "kitchen sink" films of 
working-class life followed, outstanding among 
which were Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday 
Morning (1960, see p. 306), Tony Richardson's 
A Taste of Honey (1961), John Schlesinger's A Kind 
of Loving (1962), and Lindsay Anderson's This 
Sporting Life (1963). These soon gave way to more 
escapist "Swinging London" films, and the cycle of 
James Bond movies, beginning with Dr. No (1962). 

Swinging London 

London became the world's most fashionable 
capital and many foreign directors made films 
there. Among them were Michelangelo Antonioni 
[Blow-Up, 1966), Roman Polanski [Repulsion, 1965), 
Francois Truffaut [Fahrenheit 451, 1966), and Stanley 
Kubrick, who settled in England. Two American- 
born directors aside from Kubrick— Richard Lester 
(two Beatles films: A Hard Day's Night, 1 964, and 
Help!, 1965) and Joseph Losey [The Servant, 1963, 
and Accident, 1967)— also made an impact. 

Quality began to decline in the 1970s, to be 
revived in the 1980s by Hugh Hudson's Chariots of 
Fire (1981) and Richard Attenborough's Gandhi 
(1 982), both of which won Best Picture Oscars; Bill 
Forsyth's Gregory's Girl (1981); Peter Greenaway's 
The Draughtsman's Contract (1982); and Terry 
Gilliam's Brazil (1985). From the early 1990s 

I'WHAT TO WATCH 

The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) 

Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945) 

Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, 1 947) 

Black Narcissus (Michael Powell and 
Emeric Pressburger, 1947) 

Whisky Galore (Alexander Mackendrick, 1949) 

The Servant (Joseph Losey, 1963) 

If.... (Lindsay Anderson, 1968) 

Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 1983) 

Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985) 

Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry, 2000) 

Touching the Void (Kevin Macdonald, 2003) 

The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010) 



onward, there have been 
a number of commercial 
and critical successes, 
including Mike N ewe lis 
romantic comedy, Four 
Weddings and a Funeral 
(1994), starring Hugh Grant; 
Danny Boyle's crime drama 
Trainspotting (199 '6); Peter 
Cattaneo's social comedy 
The Full Monty (1997); Guy 
Ritchie's gangster movie Lock, Stock and Two 
Smoking Barrels (1998); and Stephen Daldry 's 
drama Billy Elliot (2000), about a boy torn between 
his love for ballet and the prejudices of his father. 
Other notable films are Stephen Frears' crime 
thriller Dirty Pretty Things (2002); Kevin Macdonald's 
award-winning documentary Touching The Void 
(2003); and the period drama The King's Speech 
(201 0), directed by Tom Hooper, which won Academy 
Awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, 
Best Director, and Best Picture. 




D Film poster, 1996 



□ In The King's Speech 

(2010), Oscar-winner 
Colin Firth portrays 
Britain's King George 
VI, who battled against 
a stutter. 




158 



WORLD FILM 



Spain 




^^^^^ 



□ Luis Bunuel's third 
and Last film made in 
Spain, Tristana (1970) 
starred Catherine 
Deneuve, and was 
set in the Spain of 
the 1920s. 



For 36 years, under Franco's repressive regime, it was almost 
impossible for Spain to create a vibrant film industry and for talented 
filmmakers to express themselves freely However, after Franco, 
Spanish films became among the best in the world. 




Any chance that Spain would have had to develop 
its small film industry in the early 20th century 
was dashed by the military dictatorship of Primo de 
Rivera from 1923-30. The arrival of sound coincided 
with the election of a democratic government in 
1931, and an attempt was made to build up a film 
industry. Several studios were constructed and 
the first big production and distribution company, 
CIFESA, was founded in 1934. However, many gifted 
filmmakers, most notably Luis Buhuel, went to 
Hollywood to work on Spanish-language versions 
of American films. Before that, Buhuel had made 
Land Without Bread (1933), the first of only three 
films he was to make in his native country. A stark 
documentary on the poverty of peasants in a barren 
area of Spain, it so effectively revealed this social 
evil that it was promptly banned by the government. 

Government dominance 

After the Spanish Civil War, when the Nationalists 
came to power, they immediately brought the film 
industry under government control, imposing 
strict moral and political guidelines. The fact 
that Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia's fascistic Raza 
(1942), which is based on an autobiographical 
novel by General Franco, is regarded as one of the 
outstanding Spanish films of the 1940s says a lot 



about Spanish film of the period. However, in the 
next decade, despite restrictions, a distinctive type 
of film emerged, led by Juan Antonio Bardem and 
Luis Garcia Berlanga. They co-directed This Happy 
Pair (1 953), about a young couple's financial 
struggles. Berlanga's Welcome Mr. Marshall! 
(1953) is a sardonic look at the effect of the 
possibility of American aid on a small Spanish 
town. Despite cuts, El Verdugo [Not on Your Life, 
1963) contains social criticism spiked with gallows 
humor.Bardem's Death of a Cyclist (1955), a bitter 
comment on contemporary Spain, won the Grand 
Prix at Cannes. Bardem also bravely produced 
Viridiana (1961), which marked Bunuel's return 
to Spain after 29 years. The film's savage attack 
on the mentality and rituals of the Catholic church 
led to it being banned outright in Spain. Buhuel 
returned to the country in slightly more liberal 
times to make Tristana (1970). 

Italian director Marco Ferreri directed three 
films in Spain in the 1960s, the best being The 
Wheelchair (1960), a black comedy in the Buhuel 
vein. Carlos Saura was the first Spanish director to 
deal with the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. 
Saura 's films contain an oblique criticism of Franco's 
regime and analyze the bourgeoisie, the church, 
the army, and sexual taboos. The Hunt (1 966) was the 
first of many films to star his future wife, Geraldine 
Chaplin. Saura 's later films, such as Cria Cuervos 
(1976) and EUsa, My Life (1977), have a shifting 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

Welcome Mr. Marshall! 

(Luis Garcia Berlanga, 1953) 

Deaf/? of a Cyclist (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1955] 



Viridiana (Luis Bunuel, 1961] 



The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973) 

Cria Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976] 

Tierra (Julio Medem, 1996) 

Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar, 2002) 

The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenabar, 2004) 



SPAIN 159 




chronology and an obsession with childhood. These 
two films starred the remarkable child actress Ana 
Torrent, who had made her mark in Victor Erice's 
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), about an 8-year-old 
girl who becomes obsessed with Boris Karloff's 
good-bad monster in James Whale's Frankenstein 
(1931). This impressive debut feature can be read 
partly as an allegorical account of a country living 
under the shadow of an authoritarian regime. Erice 
completed only three films in a career spanning 
nearly three decades, the other two being Ei Sur 
(1983), about a young girl's relationship with her 
father, and Quince Tree of the Sun (1992), one of 
the best films on the creative process of art. 

A new dawn of creativity 

Jose Luis Borau's Furtivos (1975), which exposes 
the harsh reality of Franco's Spain, opened two 
months before the death of the Generalissimo. It 
was the first film to be distributed in Spain without 
a license from the censors. However, the expected 
burst of creativity in the new era had to wait until 
Pedro Almodovar came on the scene in the 1980s 
with his outrageously camp melodramas. His 
movie All About My Mother (1999) won a Best 
Foreign Film Oscar, as did Fernando Trueba's 
Belle Epoque (1 992) and Alejandro Amenabar's 




The Sea Inside (2004). Other first-class directors 
are Bigas Luna [Jamon, Jamon, 1992, and The Tit 
and The Moon, 1994); Julio Medem [Tierra, 1996, 
and Sex and Lucia, 2001); and Mexican-born 
Guillermo delToro [The Devil's Backbone, 2001). 
Trueba [Two Much, 1 995) and Amenabar [The 
Others, 2001) have made the trip to Hollywood, 
while actors who have become famous in the 
US include Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and 
Antonio Banderas. Veteran directors such as 
Carlos Saura and Mario Camus, whose The Holy 
Innocents (1984) is one of the best Spanish films 
in the last few decades, continue to remain active. 




□ In The Spirit of the 
Beehive (1973), Ana 
(Ana Torrent) hands 
an apple to a fugitive 
whom she relates to 
the monster in the 1931 
film, Frankenstein. 



□ Fernando (Jorge 
Sanz), a deserter from 
the army during the 
Spanish Civil War, has 
to decide between three 
women, daughters 
of his best friend, in 
Belle Epoque (1992). 




160 



WORLD FILM 



Portugal 

Portugal has never had a large indigenous film industry, making only 
an average of ten films annually. However, the country has attracted 
foreign filmmakers and produced a great director in Manoel de 
Oliveira, who has put Portuguese film on the map. 



E3 Joao Cesar Monteiro 

plays the manager of 
an ice-cream parlor, 
who fantasizes about 
his young female 
employees in Goof's 
Comedy (1995), which 
he also directed. 



E3 Leonor Silveira 

plays the sensuous 
Ema in Manoel de 
Oliveira's Abraham's 
Valley (1993), based on 
the novel by Agustina 
Bessa-Luis. 




In the late 1920s, under the influence of various 
European avant-garde movements, Portugal 
produced a number of remarkable films: Jose 
Leitao de Barros's Maria do Mar (1930), Jorge Brum 
do Canto's beautiful documentaries, and especially 
Manoel de Oliveira's Working on the Douro River 
(1931), a series of images of the fishermen and 
workers in the director's home town of Oporto. In 
1942, Oliveira made his first feature, the neorealistic 
(see box, p. 286) Aniki Bobo, about the adventures of 
street urchins growing up in the slums of Oporto. 
He did not make another feature for 21 years, after 




which he would make one film a year into his 
nineties, creating a synthesis of literary, theatrical, 
musical, and visual material. Perhaps his most 
accessible film is Abraham's Valley (1993), a sensual 
and understated version of Madame Bovary. 

Other Portuguese directors of stature include 
Antonio de Macedo [Sunday Afternoon, 1966); 
Fernando Lopes [On The Edge of the Horizon, 1993); 
Joao Botelho [A Portuguese Goodbye, 1986, and 
Hard Times, 1988); Paulo Rocha [River of Gold, 
1998, and The Heart's Root, 2000); and Teresa 
Villaverde [Tres Irmaos, 1994). A notable figure 
was Joao Cesar Monteiro, who starred in and 
directed God's Comedy (1995), which won the 
Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. 
Monteiro himself appeared in many of his own 
long, observant, and often bizarre films. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Hard Times (Joao Botelho, 1988) 



Abraham's Valley (Manoel de Oliveira, 1 993) 
Goof's Comedy (Joao Cesar Monteiro, 1 995) 
River of Gold (Paulo Rocha, 1998) 
ODelfim (Fernando Lopes, 2002) 



CANADA 161 



Canada 

Canada's close proximity to the US and the cultural gulf between its French- 
and English-speaking population has not prevented the development of an 
identifiable film industry, especially in the field of animation. The nation's 
cinematic output has been particularly successful since the early 1970s. 




The Canadian Pacific railroad set up a film unit as 
early as 1 900, but it was only in 1 939, when the 
National Film Board of Canada was established 
under John Grierson to counteract Hollywood's 
dominance, that Canadian films began to make an 
impression worldwide. The NFB built up a strong 
animation department, where Norman McLaren 
was able to experiment with the art form. Michael 
Snow was prominent in avant-garde circles with 
his "abstract" films. 



□ NickStahl (left) plays Dodge and Joshua 
Close plays Oliver in Jacob Tierney's Twist 
(2003), a gay take on Charles Dickens' Oliver 
Twist, set in the hustler district of Toronto. 

After World War II, Francophone Canadians began 
making films, many of which were cinema verite 
(see box, p. 31 1) documentaries influenced by French 
director Jean Rouch. Among the leading figures 
in Canada were Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault. 
Gradually, French Canadian directors became the 
prime force in the Canadian film industry. Claude 
Jutra [My Uncle Antoine, 1971), Gilles Carle [The True 
Nature of Bernadette, 1972), and especially Denys 
Arcand, made their mark in the 1970s. Arcand, 
known as "the Godfather of the New Canadian 
cinema," has continued to make trenchant 
satires on Quebec society, in Jesus of Montreal 
(1989) and The Barbarian Invasions (2003). It was 
easier and more likely that Anglophone directors, 
like Ted Kotcheff and Norman Jewison, could work 
in Hollywood. However, two English Canadian 
directors, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, 
despite having worked abroad, remain resolutely 
Canadian in their different idiosyncratic ways. 



□ Marie-Josee Croze 

plays Nathalie, who 
tries to offer comfort to 
a man dying of cancer, 
in Denys Arcand's bleak 
and funny The Barbarian 
Invasions (2003). 



WHAT TO WATCH 



My Uncle Antoine (Claude Jutra, 1971) 



The True Nature of Bernadette 

(Gilles Carle, 1972) 



The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz 

(Ted Kotcheff, 1974) 

The Decline of the American Empire 

(Denys Arcand, 1986) 

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing 

(Patricia Rozema, 1987) 

Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988) 
Jesus of Montreal (Denys Arcand, 1989) 
Exotica (Atom Egoyan, 1994) 
The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997) 
The Barbarian Invasions (Denys Arcand, 2003) 
Twist (Jacob Tierney, 2003) 




162 



WORLD FILM 



Central America 

Mexico has always been the leading producer of feature films in Latin 
America. Post-Revolution Cuba, which once produced more than 10 
features a year, has gradually turned to digital filmmaking — the only 
solution for poor film-producing countries in Central America. 




□ A poor couple, 

Pedro Armendariz 
and Maria Elena 
Marques, find a very 
valuable pearl in Emilio 
Fernandez's La Perla 
(1947), based on a book 
by John Steinbeck. 





□ Film poster, 2001 



Until Sergei Eisenstein's /Que Viva Mexico! (1932), 
Mexican audiences were exposed only to popular 
melodramas, crude comedies, and Spanish- 
language versions of Hollywood films. Eisenstein's 
visit to Mexico inspired directors such as Emilio 
Fernandez and cameraman Gabriel Figueroa, 
and the number of Mexican-made films grew. 

Fernandez's Maria Candelaria (1944), which was 
shot by Figueroa and starred renowned Hollywood 
actor Dolores del Rio, won Best Film at Cannes. 
Spanish exile Luis Buhuel made most of his films in 
Mexico from 1946 to 1960, perhaps the best being 
Los Olvidados [The Young and the Damned, 1 950). 
Figueroa, who shot most of Buhuel's Mexican films, 
also worked with John Ford [The Fugitive, 1947) and 
John Huston [The Night of the Iguana, 1964). During 
World War II, movie production in Mexico tripled. 
Argentina and Spain were run by fascist governments 
and so Mexico became the world's largest producer 
of Spanish-language films in the 1940s. Although 
Mexico's government was reactionary, it encouraged 



the production of films that it thought would help 
to articulate a true Mexican identity, in contrast to 
the view portrayed by Hollywood. 

Indigenous film suffered through the 1960s 
and 1970s, until government sponsorship of the 
industry and the creation of State-supported film 
helped create Nuevo Cine Mexicano (New Mexican 
Cinema) in the 1990s. Alfonso Arau's Like Water 
for Chocolate (1992) paved the way for Alejandro 
Gonzales Iharritu's^mores Perros (2000) and 
Alfonso Cuaron's YTuMama Tambien (2001). 

Cuban film 

In pre-Revolution Cuba, films were mostly light 
musicals and comedies. Shortly after Castro took 
power in 1959, the Cuban Institute of Cinematic 
Art and Industry was set up to control film production 
and distribution. One of its founders was Tomas 
Gutierrez Alea, who made some of Cuba's finest 
films. Humberto Solas reinvented the historical 
epic with Lucia (1968); and Santiago Alvarez, 



CENTRAL AMERICA 163 



imprisoned more than once under Batista's regime, 
made weekly newsreels. Using this footage, with 
stills, and cartoons, and other devices, he became 
a leading maker of short agitprop documentaries in 
the 1960s. The Vietnam war gave him the material 
for Hanoi, Tuesday 13th (1967) and LBJ(1968). 

The Cuban Revolution attracted foreign directors 
such as Chris Marker [jCuba Si!, 1 961 ) and Agnes 
Varda [Saiut les Cubains, 1 963) to Cuba. One of the 
most remarkable films made there was Mikhail 
Kalatozov's propagandist I Am Cuba (1964). Wim 
Wenders' Oscar-nominated Buena Vista Social Club 
(1999), a documentary about the aging, home- 
grown musicians of the title, was shot in Havana. 

Haiti, although it does not have a film industry 
to speak of, has been the subject of a number of 
documentaries. It is also the setting for several 
feature films, from Jacques Tourneur's fanciful 
/ Walked with a Zombie (1 943) to Laurent Cantet's 
Vers le Sud (2005), a film about sexual tourism. 



E 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Maria CandeLaria 

(Emilio Fernandez, Mexico, 1944] 



La Perla (Emilio Fernandez, Mexico, 1947) 
Los Olvidados (Luis Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) 
/ am Cuba 

(Mikhail Kalatozov, Soviet Union/Cuba, 1964) 

Memories of Underdevelopment 

(Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Cuba, 1968) 

Lucia (Humberto Solas, Cuba, 1968) 

Like Water for Chocolate 

(Alfonso Arau, Mexico, 1992) 

Amores Perros 

(Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Mexico, 2000) 

Y Tu Mama Tambien 

(Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico, 2001) 

Pan's Labyrinth 

(Guillermo delToro, Mexico, 2006) 



□ In Lucia (1968), 
Raquel Revuelta stars 
in the title role— one 
of three women from 
different epochs, 
each demonstrating 
a woman's changing 
role in a macho society. 




164 



WORLD FILM 



South America 

Politics have never been far away from South American film. 
The 1960s saw a new wave of political protest movies, and by 
the end of the 20th century, this had broadened into mainstream 
success, particularly for Argentinian and Brazilian directors. 




□ In Antonio das Mortes 

(1969), Glauber Rocha's 
political allegory, the 
titular assassin ends up 
siding with the peasants 
to fight against the 
brutal landowners. 



Filmmaking in South America was extremely 
parochial and unsophisticated during the Silent 
Era, when local products were eclipsed by foreign 
films. Sound helped to advance the Argentinian and 
Brazilian film industries, however. During the 1930s, 
Argentina rivaled Mexico in the Latin-American 
market with its "gaucho" and tango movies, the 
most successful directed by Jose A. Ferreyra 
and starring tango singer Libertad Lamarque. 

In Brazil, the large number of illiterate people 
meant the studios had to produce films with 
sound quickly. One of the earliest was Aid, Aid, 
Brasil (1935), a musical that launched Carmen 
Miranda's career. The most important figure in 
early Brazilian film was Humberto Mauro, who 
tried to elevate the poor quality of local production 
with serious features such as Ganga Bruta (1933), 
probably the first great Brazilian film. In the 1940s, 
film production in Brazil was down to its lowest 
level. At this time, Alberto Cavalcanti returned 
to his native land after a successful cosmopolitan 
career (particularly at Ealing Studios in England) 
to become head of production at the Vera Cruz 
film company. The first Brazilian movie to become 



internationally known, Lima Barreto's poetic Robin 
Hood-type adventure Cangaceiro [The Bandit, 
1953), was made under Cavalcanti's aegis. 

Film languished in Argentina during the Peronist 
era (1946-55), until Leopoldo Torre Nilsson 
emerged to become one of the most famous of all 
Argentinian directors. The son of prolific director 
Leopoldo Torres Rios, Torre Nilsson began working 
with his father at the age of 1 5, and was a scriptwriter 
and assistant on many of his father's films. His own 
movies, most of them adaptations from the novels of 
his wife, Beatriz Guido, broke away from the staple 
Argentinian product of superficial comedies and 
melodramas. House of the Angel (1957), The Fall 
(1959), and The Hand in the Trap (1961) are studies 
of a bourgeoisie repressed by a suffocating Catholic 
Church and its effect on adolescents. The Gothic 
claustrophobia of these films echoes the work of 
Spanish director Luis Buhuel without the biting irony. 
Summerskin (1961) and The Terrace (1963) show 
teenagers creating a world of their own, away from 
the stifling mansions of their parents. Unfortunately, 
by the mid-1960s, Torre Nilsson found it increasingly 
difficult to make the films he wanted because of 
the political and economic climate of his country. 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

The Hand in the Trap 

(Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, Argentina, 1961) 
Barren Lives 

(Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Brazil, 1963) 

Antonio das Mortes 

(Glauber Rocha, Brazil, 1969) 

The Hour of the Furnaces (Fernando Solanas/ 
Octavio Getino, Argentina, 1970) 

The Battle of Chile 

(Patricio Guzman, Chile, 1975/79) 

The Official Story (Luis Puenzo, Argentina, 1985) 

Central Station (Walter Sa lies, Brazil, 1998) 

City of God [ Fernando Meirelles, Brazil, 2002) 

The Secret in Their Eyes 

(Juan Jose Campanella, Argentina, 2010) 



SOUTH AMERICA 165 



The New Wave and liberation 

Brazilian film finally matured in the 1 960s with 
Cinema Novo, a New Wave movement of young 
political filmmakers. The main figures were 
Glauber Rocha [Black God White Devil, 1964), Ruy 
Guerra [The Guns, 1964), Carlos Diegues [Ganga 
Zumba, 1963), and Nelson Pereira Dos Santos 
[Barren Lives, 1963). Produced under repressive 
conditions following the military coup in 1964, 
Antonio das Mortes (1969) was Rocha's last radical 
cry from Brazil before almost 1 years in exile. 

In Argentina, a group of filmmakers set up the 
independent Grupo Cine Liberacion. A leading figure 
was Fernando Solanas. His The Hour of the Furnaces 
(1968), a three-part masterpiece co-directed 
with Octavio Getino, presents a dazzling array of 
interviews, intertitles, songs, poems, footage from 
other films, and new material, bearing witness to the 
negative effects of neo-colonialism. This devastating 
film, made clandestinely, ends with a two-minute 
close-up of the dead Che Guevara (to whom the 
film is dedicated, along with "all who died fighting 
to liberate Latin America"). The film was partly 
responsible for new and rigorous censorship laws. 

In the same year, Miguel Littin's The Jackal 
ofNahueltoro (1969) was released. It was one of 
the best films to come out of Chile in the creative 



il it 
II li 




period just before and during the presidency of 
Salvador Allende. Based on a real case, it tells 
the story of an illiterate peasant murderer, who 
is taught to read and understand social values 
upon arrival in prison, only to be executed by 
a firing squad. Patricio Guzman's The Battle of 
Chile (1975-79), a powerful documentary on the 
events leading up to the overthrow of the Allende 
government by the CIA and the forces of General 
Pinochet, was smuggled out of the country into 
Cuba, where it took over four years to edit. The 
events of the bloody military coup in Chile on 
September 11,1 973, are seen through the eyes of 
two young boys in Andres Wood's Machuca (2004). 




□ A former teacher, 

Dora (Fernanda 
Montenegro), waits 
with Josue (Vinicius de 
Oliveira) in a quest to 
find the boy's father, in 
Central Station (1998). 



□ Glauber Rocha's 
Black God White 
Devil (1964) tells of a 
self-styled black saint, 
who gains a following 
in the sertao— the 
parched land of 
northeast Brazil. 



WORLD FILM 



□ Gael Garcia Bernal 

(front), as the young 
Che Guevara, rides 
with Rodrigo De 
La Serna, who plays 
Alberto Granado 
in Walter Salles' 
The Motorcycle 
Diaries (2004). 



□ Carlos Sorin's 
Bombon: El Pero (2004) 
follows the life of an 
out-of-work mechanic 
(Juan Villegas) whose 
life is transformed 
when he is given 
a pedigree dog. 




Latin resurgence 

The 1980s saw a renaissance of Argentinian film. 
Funny Dirty Little War (1983), Hector Olivera's black 
comedy of Peronist militants in the early 1 970s, 
is a fast, furious, and funny political satire. Luis 
Puenzo's moving The Official Story (1985) is about 
the fate of the children of the Disappeared— the 
thousands of Argentinian citizens who vanished 
without a trace during the "Dirty War" (1976-83). 
This courageous film won the Best Foreign Film 
Oscar. The previous year, Maria Luisa Bemberg's 



Camila, an indictment of oppression during the 
dictatorship of 1847, was seen as a criticism of 
modern Argentina. 

Carlos Sorin made the fascinating A King and 
His Movie (1986), about the difficulties of a director 
trying to make a historical film in Argentina. 
He followed this with the gently humorous road 
movie Historias Minimas (2002), and the canine 
comedy, Bombon: El Pero (2004). Among the other 
first-rate Argentinian films of this later period 
were Fabian Bielinsky's Nine Queens (2000) and 
Pablo Trapero's cop thriller El Bonaerense (2002). 
Other recent successes include Trapero's semi- 
documentary Familia Rodante (2004) and Lucrecia 
Martel's77?e Holy Girl (2004). 

In Brazil, director Hector Babenco followed his 
searing exposure of homeless children [Pixote, 
1981) with the prison drama Carandiru in 2003. 
The other well-known Brazilian director, Walter 
Salles, had hits with Central Station (1998) and 
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), while Fernando 
Meirelles triumphed in 2002 with City of God. 
In a lighter vein, Andrucha Waddington's Me, You, 
Them [E Tu Eles, 2000), tells the story of a strong 
woman and her three husbands, all living together. 
Other countries not known for film production 
had successes, too, such as Juan Pablo Rebella 
and Pablo Stoll's 25 Watts (2001) and Whisky 
(2004), from Uruguay; Barbet Schroeder's Our 
Lady of the Assassins (2000), from Columbia; and 
Rodrigo Bellott's Sexual Dependency (2003), from 
Bolivia, which uses a split screen throughout. 



CHINA, HONG KONG, AND TAIWAN I 167 



China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan 

Until the 1980s, China, the world's most populous nation, produced 
relatively few internationally known films, whereas its neighbors, 
Hong Kong and Taiwan, were renowned for their martial arts movies. 
Today, China has become a cinematic force to be reckoned with. 




□ Zheng Junli's 

Landmark film Crows 
and Sparrows (1949) 
was released only 
after the Civil War. 



China was one of the slowest countries in Asia to 
develop its own film industry, and many of its first 
films were derived from staged opera productions or 
light comedies. Although they attracted large local 
audiences, these films were rarely widely distributed. 
One problem was language. The main studios were 
in Shanghai, and when talking pictures arrived, the 
films were made in Mandarin rather than the local 
dialect, and few members of the audience could 
understand them. Small companies in Hong Kong 
then started making films in Cantonese, which 
were distributed in China. The first Chinese film to 
be acclaimed internationally was Cai Chusheng's 
Song of the Fishermen (1934), about the daily 
hardships faced by fishermen on the Yangtze River. 

When Japan invaded Shanghai in 1937, many 
filmmakers left for Hong Kong or Taiwan. Others 
followed the government into exile in Chungking. 



The Japanese took over the studios in order 
to produce propaganda films, and very few 
Chinese pictures were made. After the war, 
left-wing groups produced the best films, such 
as Zheng Junli's Crows and Sparrows (1949), 
about a corrupt landlord and his tenants who 
fight for their rights. One of the last great films 
to come out of of pre-Communist China, it was 
a landmark in its move toward a style not far 
from Italian neorealism (see box, p. 286). 

Films of the cultural revolution 

The first film to be produced after the People's 
Republic of China was established in 1949 was the 
Soviet-Chinese documentary, Victory of the Chinese 
People (1950) directed by Sergei Gerasimov. Xie Jin 
emerged as the brightest of the Chinese directors 
in the early 1 960s with The Red Detachment of 



168 



WORLD FILM 



ED A young woman 

(Gong Li) studies 
the barrels in her 
middle-aged husband's 
wine distillery in Red 
Sorghum (1987), Zhang 
Yimou's story of passion 
and murder. 




Women (1960), based on the classic Chinese ballet, 
and Two Stage Sisters (1965). Both films revealed 
a vivid sense of color, composition, and inventive 
camera angles. The finely crafted Two Stage Sisters, 
although anti-Capitalist and pro-feminist, contained 
many elements of Hollywood melodrama. It was one 
of the last films made before the Cultural Revolution, 
during which Xie Jin was accused of "bourgeois 
humanism" and imprisoned for some years, only 
able to return to filmmaking in the late 1970s. 

^WHAT TOW ATCH 

Two Stage Sisters (Xie Jin, China, 1 965) 
A Touch of Zen (King Hu, Taiwan, 1969) 

The Way of the Dragon 

(Bruce Lee, Hong Kong, 1972) 

Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige, China, 1984) 

City of Sadness (Hsiou-hsien Hou, Taiwan, 1989) 

Ju Dou (Zhang Yimou and Yang Fengliang, 
Japan/China, 1990) 

Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, China, 1 991 ) 
Yi Yi (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 2000) 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

(Ang Lee, Taiwan, 2000) 

Still Life (Jia Zhang Ke, China, 2006) 



A mere six films were made during the Cultural 
Revolution, all of them crude propaganda, but 
visually striking; most were revised versions of 
previously filmed Peking operas. The White-Haired 
Girl (1970) and Red Detachment of Women (1971) 
were supervised by Mao Zedong's wife, former 
film actress and dancer, Jiang Qing. 

After the Cultural Revolution, film production 
picked up, and films made were highly critical of that 
period. Xie Jin's Legend of Tianyun Mountain (1980), 
presented a bleak picture of a young girl pressurized 
by the Red Guard to leave her intellectual lover for 
political reasons. Wu Tian-ming's Life (1984) was 
the first in a series of films that depicted a person's 
struggle to retain some individuality. Wu belonged 
to The Fifth Generation— directors who graduated 
from the Beijing Film Academy in the 1970s. The 
most famous of these were Chen Kaige and Zhang 
Yimou, whose first films respectively, Yellow Earth 
(1984) and Red Sorghum (1987), made them the 
most widely known mainland Chinese directors 
ever. Chen's Farewell My Concubine (1993) was the 
first Chinese film to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes. 
Notable movies from other Fifth Generation directors 
include Huang Jianxin's The Black Cannon Incident 
(1 986), a witty satire on bureaucracy, and Tian 
Zhuangzhuang's Horse Thief (1 986), filmed in Tibet. 



CHINA, HONG KONG, AND TAIWAN I 169 



Hong Kong 

In Hong Kong, where most of the population spoke 
Cantonese, film production reached its peak in 
1960 with over 200 films being produced that year, 
so much so that the former British coiony claimed 
to be "The Hollywood of the East." The mixture of 
musicals, detective films, and soft porn gave way, 
in the late 1960s, to new-style martial arts films, 
which brought in huge profits from abroad— most 
of it going to the Shaw Brothers' film company. The 
first kung fu (simply meaning "technique" or "skill") 
film to get a general release in the West was Jeong 
C h a n g - h wa s Five Fingers of Death {1972). 

Taiwan 

The first big swordplay hit was the Taiwanese 
production of Dragon Inn (1967). The director 
King Hu, who worked in Taiwan, went on to make 
A Touch of Zen (1969)— an exciting three-hour epic, 
set during the rule of the Ming dynasty, and one 
of the finest examples of the genre. Chang Cheh 
reinvented the swordplay film with a trilogy: The 
One-Armed Swordsman (1967), Return of the One- 
Armed Swordsman (1969), and The NewOne-Armed 
Swordsman (1971)— all three were quintessential 
tales of heroic bloodshed. Meanwhile, Golden 
Harvest, a production company started by 
Raymond Chow, broke the Shaw Brothers monopoly 
with Bruce Lee "chop-socky" hits, starting with 
The Big Boss (1971). After Lee's premature death at 




the age of 32 in 1973, prolific director Chang Cheh 
continued the tradition, taking fight choreography 
to new heights. His films influenced other directors, 
such as John Woo and Liu Jialiang, and made many 
Hong Kong stars famous, including Ti Lung. 

Although Taiwan was associated with kung 
fu movies, several directors made political and 
social dramas in a more cryptic style, the best 
known being Hou Hsiao-Hsien, whose work was 
similar to that of Japan's Yasujiro Ozu. Today, the 
most internationally celebrated Taiwanese director 
is Ang Lee, whose work ranges from an updated 
version of the Chinese wu xia (samurai-style) 
tradition of storytelling involving myth, swords 
and magic [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000) to 
Hollywood hits such as Brokeback Mountain (2005). 




□ Bruce Lee, in his 

first starring role, 
displays his karate 
skills in The Big Boss 
(1971)— the film that 
literally kick-started 
kung fu mania. 



□ Three heroes (Hsu 
Feng, Shih Chun, and 
Tien Peng) await their 
enemies in King Hu's 
martial arts classic 



170 



WORLD FILM 



Korea 

Although Korean films now loom large in the world film landscape, 
with international hits such as Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Lady 
Vengeance (2005), it is only since the mid-1990s that the films have 
established a distinctive character and been truly visible. 



□ Chihwaseon (2002) 
traces the Life of an 
artist (Choi Min-Sik) 
known for his addiction 
to alcohol and women. 




The fact that Korea was under Japanese rule from 
1903 to 1945 did not help the establishment of a 
film industry, although a number of silent Korean 
movies were made. In 1937, when Japan invaded 
China, the Korean film industry was converted into 
a propaganda machine. However, after World War II, 
despite the country regaining its independence, it 
was soon divided into the Communist North and 
the Capitalist South. 

Two of the most important Korean films appeared 
in the 1960s: Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid (1960) 
and Yu Hyun-mok's Aimless Bullet (1961). Both 
were dark, domestic melodramas that dealt with 
family life and survival in the years following the 
end of the Korean War (1950-53). 

In 1962, the Motion Picture Law mandated that 
film companies must produce at least 15 films 
per year. Korean studios made more; however, few 
were seen outside the country. The leading director 
of the period was Shin Sang-ok, whose My Mother 
and Her Guest (1 961 ), told through the eyes of a 
young girl who wants her widowed mother to 
marry again, is considered a masterpiece. 
Sang-ok and his wife were kidnapped from 
their native South Korea in the late 1970s 
and held for several years in the North to 
make movies for Kim Jong II, the son of 
the North Korean leader. The couple 
were granted asylum in the US in 1986. 
After a fallow period, there were some 
signs of revival in the 1980s when Im 
Kwon-taek's films began to appear 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Day a Pig Fell into the Well 

(Hong Sang-soo, 1996) 



Shiri (Kang Je-Gyu, 1999) 



Chihwaseon (Im Kwon-taek, 2002) 



The Way Home (Lee Jeong-hyang, 2002) 
Oasis (Lee Chang-dong, 2002) 

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring 

(Kim Ki-duk, 2003) 

Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007) 



at festivals. He has made dozens of movies since 
1 962, and his breakthrough came with Mandala 
(1981), a film about Buddhist monks. Another of 
his films, Adada (1 987), reflects the marginalized 
position of women in traditional Korean society. 
Seopyeonje (1993) is the story of a family of 
roaming pansori (a sort of Korean folk opera) and 
the singers' struggles in post-war Korea. This film 
became an unexpectedly huge hit in Korea. In 2002, 
Im Kwon-taek won the Best Director award at 
Cannes for his magnificent Chihwaseon, about the 
life of a 19th-century Korean painter. In the same 
year, Lee Chang-dong's astonishing Oasis (2002), 
about a love affair between a social misfit and a 
girl with cerebral palsy, won several awards. 

In 1996, Hong Sang-soo made his debut with 
the award -winning The Day a Pig Fell into the Well, 
which weaves four characters'experiences into 
a single story. The same year saw the debut of 
controversial director Kim Ki-duk, whose violent 
films such as The Isle (2000) and Address Unknown 
(2001 ) were balanced by the serene Spring, Summer, 
Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003). Other recent 
successes include Kang Je-gyu's thriller SA?/r/ 
(1999) and Park Chan-wook's Vengeance trilogy— 
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), 
and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005). Two films 
by women, Lee Jeong-hyang's The Way Home (2002) 
and Jeong Jae-eun's Take Care of My Cat (2001), 
have also been at the forefront of Korean film. 




JAPAN 171 



Japan 

Japan has been making high-quality films since the beginnings of film, but 
they remained virtually unknown in the West for over half a century Since 
the 1950s, however, Japanese film has become very successful, both 
critically and commercially 



For most of its history, Japanese film was divided 
into two categories: gendai-geki— films in a 
contemporary setting— and jidai-geki— period 
films that were usually set in the Togukawa era 
(1603-1868), before the country opened up to 
Western influence. A sub-genre was shomin-geki 
("home dramas")— movies about families, of which 
directors Yasujiro Ozu and Yasujiro Shimazu were 
the most consistent practitioners. 

At first, two theatrical traditions were carried 
over to film: the onnagata (males in female roles), 
and the benshi (an actor who stood at the side of 
the screen and narrated the film). However, as films 
became more realistic, the onnagata looked out of 
place and, with the coming of sound, the benshi also 
became redundant. 

Following an earthquake in 1923, which 
devastated Tokyo and destroyed its film studios, 
Japan had to rely on foreign imports for some years. 
Gradually the industry recovered, though foreign 
audiences were still largely unaware of Japanese 
films. An exception was Teinosuke Kinugasa's 
Crossways (1928). Its fragmentary close-ups, 
claustrophobic atmosphere of angst, and dark, 
stylized decor, were reminiscent of German 
expressionism, though the director had apparently 
not seen any German films up to that time. 

The first Japanese talkie was Heinosuke Gosho's 
The Neighbor's Wife and Mine (1 931 ), a delightful 
slice-of-life comedy. However, as Japan became 
increasingly militaristic, more and more right-wing 
propaganda films were being made. Humanists, 
such as Kenji Mizoguchi, avoided government 
propaganda, and later he would direct twin 
masterpieces: Osaka Elegy and Sisters of the 
Gion (both 1936), stories of exploited women 
in contemporary Japan. 

Wartime Japan 

All Japanese film came under state power in 1939 
and film production slowed down. However, some 
of the great directors continued to make films in 
their own way. Ozu made There Was a Father (1942), 




one of his most affecting films. The most popular 
war film was Kozaburo Yoshimura's The Story of 
Tank Commander Nishizumi (1940), which was not 
afraid to show the weakness and hardships that 
were associated with war. 

American occupation 

Under American occupation, a number of jidai-geki 
films were made in order to avoid censorship of 
contemporary issues. Despite the flood of American 
films and the problems of industrial disputes, Toho, 
the largest studio, did become established, along 
with relatively new directors such as Akira 



[ 



WHAT TO WATCH 



TheLifeofOharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952) 
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) 
Equinox Flower (Yasujiro Ozu, 1958) 
An Actor's Revenge (Kon Ichikawa, 1963) 



Boy (Nagisa Oshima, 1969) 



Vengeance is Mine (Shohei Imamura, 1979) 



Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985) 



Hana-bi (Takeshi Kitano, 1997) 
After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1998) 
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) 
Still Walking (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2008) 
Caterpillar (Koji Wakamatsu, 2010) 



□ Sisters of the Gion 

(1936) is director Kenj 
Mizoguchi's depiction 
of two geisha sisters. 



172 



WORLD FILM 




E3 Audience members 

watch the performance 
of an onnagata (female 
impersonator) in Kon 
I c h i kawa 's An Actor's 
Revenge (1963), a study 
of opposites— Love/hate, 
illusion/reality, 
masculinity/femininity. 



Kurosawa and Keisuke Kinoshita— who directed 
Carmen Comes Home (1951), the first Japanese 
color film. The breakthrough came when 
Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950, see p. 291) won the 
Grand Prix award at Venice in 1 951 , thus opening 
up the floodgates of Japanese films to the West. 
Among the most celebrated of that time were: 
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1 954), Tokyo Story 
(Yasujiro Ozu, 1953), and Ugetsu Monoga tari (Kenji 
Mizoguchi, 1953). Others were Kon Ichikawa's 
anti-war films: The Burmese Harp (1 956) and Fires 
on the Plain (1959); and Masaki Kobayashi's The 
Human Condition (1959-61), an impressive and 
harrowing trilogy of socially conscious films. 




During the same period, Ishiro Honda created 
Godzilla (1954), which led to a whole stream of 
movies featuring threatening prehistoric monsters 
and mutants, formed as a result of radioactivity 
caused by nuclear bombs. The dubbing in the 
West was atrocious, but the special effects 
were spectacular. 

The 1 960s saw Japanese film mature 
creatively, beginning with Kaneto Shindo's 
The Island (1960), a tale-told beautifully in 
widescreen, without dialogue— about the hard 
life of a peasant family. Masaki Kobayashi's 
Harakiri (1962) remained true to the traditions 
of period film, while managing to criticize the 
rigid codes of honor that are basic to their subject. 
Kobayashi's Kwaidan (1964), one of the most 
expensive Japanese films up to that date, tells 
four tales of the supernatural using haunting 
imagery derived from Japanese art. 

Among the new wave of Japanese directors, 
many of whom explored eroticism and violence, 
were Shohei Imamura [The Insect Woman, 
1963 and The Pornographer, 1966); Hiroshi 
Teshigahara [Woman in the Dunes, 1964); 
Yoshishige Yoshida [Eros plus Massacre, 1969); 
and Nagisa Oshima [Death by Hanging, 1968). 
It was Oshima who took the sexual revolution 
still further with W\sAiNo Corrida (1976). 



JAPAN 173 



1980 and beyond 

Old hands Like Kurosawa, who made his two great 
spectacles Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985), and 
Imamura, whose Ballad ofNarayama (1983) was 
adjudged the Best Film at Cannes, continued to 
have success. Of the younger generation, Juzo 
Itami was the bright new meteor of Japanese film 
in the 1980s, with his comic satires of Japanese 
culture: Tampopo (1985), A Taxing Woman (1987), 
and A Taxing Woman's Return (1988), all starring 
his wife Nobuko Miyamoto. 

At the turn of the 21st century, Japanese films 
kept on winning prizes at festivals and attracting 
large audiences. A dominant figure was Takeshi 
Kitano, whose films range from violent yakuza 
(gangster) movies [Hana-bi, 1997 and Brother, 
2000) to period films [Zatoichi, 2003) and 
sentimental comedies [Kikujiro, 1999). Credited 
as "Beat" Takeshi, he has also acted in many 
films, including his own. In Kinji Fukasaku's Battle 
Royale (2000), in which a school forces its pupils 
to slaughter one another on an island, Takeshi 
plays the role of a sadistic headmaster. 

Japan has also produced some of the most 
effective horror films, many of which have been 
adapted by Hollywood. Hideo Nakata's Ringu (1 998) — 
Japan's most successful horror film to date— led 
to a sequel, a prequel, and an American remake 




in 2002. Another Hollywood remake was The 
Grudge (2004), originally made by the same director, 
Takashi Shimizu, as the chiller Ju-On (2000). Also 
frightening, but more subtle, are the supernatural 
crime movies directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no 
relation to Akira), such as Pulse (2001 ). 

Other violent films included Takashi Miike's 
Audition (1999). In a different vein are Hirokazu 
Koreeda's films that explore memory and loss, 
such as Nobody Knows (2004), and Hayao Miyazaki's 
charming Spirited Away (2001 ), which won the Oscar 
for the Best Animated Feature— a reflection of the 
rise in the huge popularity of Japanese anime 
films, first awoken in the West by Akira (1988). 



□ Koji Yakusho 

plays a gangster who 
invades the ramen 
(noodle) bar owned 
by Nobuko Miyamoto 
in director Juzo Itami's 
gastronomic comedy, 
Tampopo (1985). 



□ In Shinichiro 
Watanabe's Cowboy 
Bebop (2001), the 
bounty-hunting crew is 
out to catch the culprit 
behind a terrorist attack. 



174 



WORLD FILM 



India 

India is the world's largest producer of films — in the 1990s, the country 
made more than 800 films annually. It is the only country that has a bigger 
audience for indigenous films than imported ones. It also boasts one of 
the biggest international audiences. 




□ Film poster, 1975 



□ Sunil Dutt plays 
the rebellious son 
in Mother India (1957), 
Mehboob Khan's classic 
tragic epic of rural life. 



Indian films mean different things to 
different people. For the majority, they 
mean "Bollywood" (a conflation of 
Bombay, the old name for Mumbai, 
and Hollywood), and for others, 
they mean exquisite art movies as 
exemplified by the work of Satyajit 
Ray. The films of Bollywood tended 
to be rigidly formulaic Hindi-language 
musicals, comedies, or melodramas. In the 1990s, 
Bollywood musicals, the staple of the Indian film 
industry, became more and more popular among 
non-Indians in the West— mainly for their kitsch 
qualities. Although they came into being with 
the coming of sound, some of the plots were 
already apparent in the popular silent films. 

The most prominent of the early silent film 
director-producers was Dadasaheb Phalke, who 
introduced the mythological film, peopled by gods 
and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. All the roles 
were played by men, as women were forbidden to 
act during the early 20th century. However, Phalke 
was ruined by the introduction of sound which, in 
a country with 18 major languages and more than 
800 different dialects, inevitably resulted in the 
fragmentation of the industry and its dispersal 
into different language markets. 

Mumbai, the original center of the industry, 
continued to dominate by concentrating on films 
in Hindi, the most widely-spoken Indian language. 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 




Devdas (Bimal Roy, 1955) 

Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955) 

Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957) 



Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964) 



BhuvanShome (MrinalSen, 1969) 



Sholay (Ramesh Sippy, 1975) 



Nayagan (Mani Ratnam, 1987) 
Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, 19. 



Bandit Queen (Shekhar Kapur, 1994) 
Dilwale DuLhaniya LeJayenge (Aditya Chopra, 1995) 
Kannathil Muthamittal (Mani Ratnam, 2002) 
Shwaas (Sandeep Sawant, 2004) 
Harishchandrachi Factory (Paresh Mokashi, 2009) 
PeepliLive (Anusha Rizvi, 2010) 



In the south, Chennai (formerly Madras) 
developed its own massive industry with films 
in Tamil. Hindi and Tamil films constituted the 
majority of Indian film, both dominated by 
a Hollywood-style star system. Among minority 
language film, Bengali films gained prominence, 
thanks mainly to Satyajit Ray's influence in the 
1 950s. The first talkie was Ardeshir Irani's Aiam 
Ara (1931), with dialogue in both Urdu and Hindi. 
It contained several song and dance numbers and 
its huge financial success led to films adopting a 
formula— stories set around songs. 

At the same time, almost imperceptibly, 
Hindi film developed a tradition of socially aware 
films. Founded in 1934, the Bombay Talkies studio 
produced a number of such movies. However, it 
was only in the 1950s that Indian films began to 
be shown around the world. Among the first were 
Aan (1952), the first Indian feature in Technicolor, 
and Mother India (1957), both directed by Mehboob 
Khan. The latter starred Nargis (see p. 105), and 
was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar. Bimal 
Roy's Do Bigha Zameen (1953), about the bitter 
issue of caste, won the Prix International at Cannes. 



INDIA 



175 



Influence on world film 

When Jean Renoir came to Kolkata (formerly 
Calcutta) in 1950 to shoot The River (1951), he was 
assisted by Satyajit Ray. Renoir encouraged Ray to 
fuifii his dream of making a fiim based on Pather 
Panchali, a novel by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee that 
deals with Bengali village life. With the majority of 
money coming from the West Bengal government, 
Ray was able to make Pather Panchali in 1955, the 
first film in his Apu trilogy. Aside from Renoir's 
importance to Ray, the influence of The River cannot 
be overestimated. It was one of the first films from 
the West to show India other than as an exotic 
background to Kipling-style colonial adventures. 
It was only after this film that Fritz Lang visited 
India in 1956 to make Taj Mahal, later abandoned. 
James Ivory also made several films there, including 
Shakespeare-Wallah (1965) and Heat and Dust 
(1 983). Another European director to be influenced 
was Louis Malle [Phantom India, 1969). 

The success of Ray's films proved that it was 
possible to work outside the commercial system. 
Those who benefited from this newly independent 
film included Marxists Mrinal Sen and Ritwik 
Ghatak, who developed a new kind of social film 
in opposition to Ray's European humanism. 

Sen, often called the "Bengali Godard," attacked 
poverty and exploitation in Indian society. "I wanted 
to make disturbing and annoying films, not artistic 
ones," he said. His The Royal Hunt (1976) and And 
Quiet Rolls the Dawn (1979) are powerful political 
parables that look at the complexities of the country. 
Meanwhile, Ghatak's best-known films— Meghe 
Dhaka Tara (1960), Komal Gandhar[]96]), and 
Subarnarekha (1965)— make up a trilogy based in 
Kolkata that addresses the subject of refugees. 

In contrast, in Mumbai, Hrishikesh Mukherjee 
laid the foundation of genuine middle-class films, 
with Anand (1 970). The film tells the story of a 
terminally ill man who, determined to remain 
cheerful, brings about positive changes in the lives 
of those around him. Meanwhile, Bollywood movies 
were improving in quality, both technically and 
artistically. Ramesh Si p py 's Sholayl 1975), starring 
one of the greatest Bollywood actors, Amitabh 
Bachchan, is one of the most successful Hindi 
films of the 1970s. 

In the 1980s, Indian "art film" was not so 
visible. However, in 1988, Mira Nair's Salaam 
Bombay!, became a huge international success. 




Q Satyajit Ray (center), 
worked extensively 
with cinematographer 
Subrata Mitra on 
ten films. 



Made in record time and for little money, it was 
an impressively assembled mosaic of Mumbai's 
street life, its harsh cruelties and fleeting pleasures. 
Other critically acclaimed Indian films in recent 
years have been Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen 
(1994), an examination of caste discrimination, 
human suffering, and the role of women in India's 
changing culture; Deepa Mehta's Fire (1996), which 
references Indian mysticism and the epic poetry 
of the Ramayana as well as late-20th-century 
feminism; and Sudhir Mishra's hard-hitting 
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005), about three college 
students in the 1970s, and how the political and 
social upheaval of the times changes their lives. 

India is the world's largest producer of feature 
films, most of them musicals, the soundtracks 
of which are released before the movie is. Since 
the 1980s, the sale of music rights has generated 
income for the film industry equivalent to the 
distribution revenues. 



□ Chanda Sharma as 

Sweet Sixteen, plays a 
beautiful Nepali virgin 
who has been sold into 
prostitution in Mira 
Nair's realistic drama 
Salaam Bombay! (1988). 




WORLD FILM 



Australia and New Zealand 

Since the 1970s, Australian films have increasingly come to the 
world's attention, while Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of 
the Rings, put New Zealand and its beautiful scenery on the 
map with his big-budget trilogy. 



S3 Mel Gibson continues 
in his role as a vengeful 
futuristic cop in Mad 
Max 2 (1981). 



Phillip Noyce's 
Rabbit-Proof Fence 

(2002) follows three 
young aboriginal girls 
in 1931 attempting to 
make a 1 ,500 mile 
trek home. 




Australia has been making homegrown movies ever 
since The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), believed to 
be the world's first feature-length film at 66 minutes. 
However, in the beginning there was little incentive 
to make Australian movies because of the American 
and British exports. When World War I cut Australia 
off from European film imports, it began to turn out 
its own cheap productions, melodramas, and "black 
blocks farces"— broad comedies of rural families. 





There was little attempt at art film, an exception 
being Raymond Longford's The Sentimental Bloke 
(1919), Australian film's first international success. 
Most other films transplanted Hollywood formulas, 
particularly the Western, to Australia. 

By 1936, only four countries in the world 
were entirely "wired for sound:" the US, the 
UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The best-known 
Australian director from the early sound era 
was Charles Chauvel (1897-1959), who made 
two successful war films: 40,000 Horsemen (1941) 
and TheRatsofTobruklWtel Ken G. Hall's wartime 
documentary, Kokoda Front Line! (1942), brought 
Australia its first Oscar. However, until the 1970s, 
Australian films meant films made in Australia 
by foreigners. For Ealing Studios, Harry Watt 
made Aussie Westerns such as The Overlanders 
(1946) and Eureka Stockade (1949), which began 
the trend for making British films in Australia. 
Among these directors were Stanley Kramer [On 
the Beach, 1959), Fred Zinnemann [The Sundowners, 
1960), and Tony Richardson [Ned Kelly, 1970). 



AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND I 177 



In 1973, the Australian Film Development 
Corporation (AFDC) came into being, and quickly 
bore fruit. The directors who emerged were Bruce 
Beresford [The Getting of Wisdom, 1977), Peter Weir 
[Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975), Fred Schepisi [The 
Devil's Playground, 1976), Phillip Noyce [Newsfront, 
1978), Gillian Armstrong [My Brilliant Career, 1979), 
and George Miller [Mad Max, 1979). All went on to 
have parallel careers in Hollywood. Of the next 
generation, Baz Luhrmann is the most celebrated. 
His first feature, Strictly Ballroom (1992), won 
many awards and became one of Australia's 
most profitable films ever. 

Although he worked mostly overseas, perhaps 
the first well-known New Zealand director was 
animator Len Lye, who invented the technique called 
"direct film," or painting designs on film stock without 
using a camera. Jane Campion is another high- 
profile New Zealand director, whose An Angel at My 
Table (1 990) launched her international career. While 
Campion, Roger Donaldson, and Geoff Murphy used 
their first films to enter Hollywood, Peter Jackson 
managed to lure the studios to Wellington in order 
to shoot his The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03). 



! WHAT TO WATCH 



Picnic at Hanging Rock 

(Peter Weir, Australia, 1975) 



The Getting of Wisdom 

(Bruce Beresford, Australia, 1977) 

Newsfront 

(Phillip Noyce, Australia, 1978) 

My Brilliant Career 

(Gillian Armstrong, Australia, 1979) 

Mad Max 

(George Miller, Australia, 1979) 

Crocodile Dundee 

(Peter Faiman, Australia, 1986) 

An Angel at My Table 

(Jane Campion, New Zealand, 1990) 

Heavenly Creatures 

(Peter Jackson, New Zealand, 1994) 

The Lord of the Rings trilogy 

(Peter Jackson, New Zealand, 2001 , 2002, and 2003) 
Happy Feet 

(George Miller, Australia, 2006) 
Australia 

(Baz Luhrmann, Australia, 2008) 




Q Paul Mercurio and 

Tara Morice win the 
Australian Pan Pacific 
Ballroom Dancing 
Championship in Baz 
Luhrmann's hit, Strictly 
Ballroom (1992). 



180 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



The definition of a director's function has been accepted 
only recently. Long considered just an anonymous member 
of a team, generally subordinate to the producer, the director 
is now pre-eminent in the perception of a film. Today, most 
film-lovers are familiar with a director's role. They know 
their names and even recognize their distinctive styles. 



In the early days, the public was generally 
unaware of a director's name. People went 
to see movies on the strength of the stars 
and the subject. Gradually, certain directors 
became known because they made themselves 
visible. For instance, Cecil B. DeMille often 
introduced his films in trailers and Alfred 
Hitchcock made brief appearances in his 
films. This made them recognizable, and 
encouraged the public to associate them 
with a certain genre— in this case, the epic and 
the thriller respectively. It was the influential 
French magazine Cahiers du Cinema that 
formulated the auteur theory in the mid- 
1950s. Its writers argued that a film, though a 
collective medium, always had the signature 
of the director on it, and that directors should 
be viewed in the light of thematic consistency. 
This formulation shed light on those directors, 
especially in the Hollywood studio system, 
who had never been considered within the 
"film as art" school of criticism, such as 
Vincente Minnelli, Howard Hawks, Nicholas 
Ray, and Otto Preminger. The theory was 
taken up by critics globally and the director 
was finally given his due as the principal 
creator of a film, if not the "onlie begetter." 



With the growth of film studies courses in 
universities, and the increased sophistication 
of audiences, many movie-goers are familiar 
with the names of such great directors of the 
past as Sergei Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, 
and Akira Kurosawa. Today, one hears 
audiences referring to the latest Spielberg 
movie rather than the latest Tom Hanks film. 

Currently, there are directors emerging 
from obscurity, renowned ones adding to their 
filmographies, and new talent being discovered. 
This A-Z of Directors has been made as up- 
to-date as possible. It includes the young, 
the old, the quick, and the dead; international 
independent geniuses, Hollywood greats, cult 
figures, and underground and experimental 
filmmakers. The overall aim has been to 
include directors whose work has been shown 
globally, either in commercial movie theaters 
or art houses. The profiles are an attempt to 
give readers enough objective information to 
be able to assess the type, quality, content, 
and style of each director's work, and then to 
discover or rediscover them for themselves. 

□ James Cameron and his crew are seen 

here shooting Titanic (1997), which won 

11 Academy Awards, including Best Director. 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 




m% ... h h m*» 



□ Film poster, 1986 



□ Scarlett Johansson 

plays the seductive 
Nola Rice, here with 
director Woody Allen on 
the set of Match Point 
(2005), the first film 
Allen made in the UK. 



Woody Allen 



WHAT TO WATCH 



BORN 1935- 



NATIONALITY American 



Sleeper { 1973] 

Love and Death (1976) 



CAREER 1969- FILMS 42 



Annie Hall [1977] 



GENRE Comedy, Drama 



Manhattan (1979) 



Films directed by the prolific Woody Allen have 
amused adult audiences over many years. In 
the best of them, however, there is pain lurking 
beneath the comic surface. 

Before directing films, Woody Allen was a stand- 
up comic whose subject matter was his own 
obsessions— his relationships with women and 
his analyst, and death— which he elaborated on 
in his films. His first five movies were constructed 
as closely linked revue sketches, although in Love 
and Death (1976), a witty pastiche of 19th-century 
Russian literature, he paid more attention to 
form. Annie Hall (1977) was a breakthrough film, 
successfully showing a complex relationship 
(based on his own with Diane Keaton), while 
Manhattan (1979) is a stunning black-and-white 
paean to New York, the city he loves. There is an 
autobiographical element in many of his films, 
most intense in Husbands and Wives (1992), during 
the filming of which he broke up with Mia Farrow, 
his real-life partner. Among his wittiest comedies 
are Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971), 
Sleeper (1973), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), and 



Broadway Danny Rose ( 1 984) 



The Purple Rose of Cairo ( 1 985) 



Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) 
Crimes and Misdemeanors ( 1 989) 



Husbands and Wives ( 1 992) 



Match Point (2005) 



Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) 



The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Allen's admiration 
for Ingmar Bergman is clear in Interiors (1 978), his 
first "serious" movie. Other homages to Bergman 
include A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1 982) and 
Deconstructing Harry (1997). He used Bergman's 
favorite cameraman Sven Nykvist on Crimes and 
Misdemeanors (1989) and cast Max von Sydow, who 
acted in many Bergman films, in Hannah and Her 
Sisters (1986). Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and 
Stardust Memories (1980) were inspired by Federico 
Fellini. Match Point (2005) was a box-office hit and 
for Allen, "arguably maybe the best film" he'd made. 
Although in the 1990s, his work lost some of its 
resonance, Allen has managed to speak to a small 
but loyal audience of intelligent fans. 





Pedro Almodovar 

BORN 1949- 
NATIONALITY Spanish 
CAREER 1974- FILMS 19 

GENRE Underground, Melodrama 



Pedro Almodovar's outrageous and provocative 
films have made him the most internationally 
acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since the death 
of oppressive military leader Franco in 1975. 

"My films represent the new mentality... in 
Spain after Franco died. ..because now it is 
possible to make a film like Law of Desire." 
Despite its homoerotic sex scenes, Law of Desire 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1 984) 

Law of Desire (1987) 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous 
Breakdown (1988) 

High Heels (1991) 

All About My Mother (1999) 

Talk to Her (2002) 

Bad Education (2004) 

Volver (2006) 



(1987) was heralded as a model for Spain's future 
cinema. Almodovar's forte is in incorporating 
elements of underground and gay culture into 
mainstream forms with wide crossover appeal, 
thus redefining perceptions of Spanish films and 
Spain itself. His first feature film, Pepi, Luci, Bom 
and Lots of Other Girls (1980), was made in 16mm 
and blown up to 35mm for public release. 
Although his breakthrough export success was 
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown 

(1 988) , he hit his stride in Spain with What Have I 
Done to Deserve This? (1984). In Matador (1986), 
he explores the link between violence and eroticism, 
while in High Heels (1991), All About My Mother 
(1999), Talk to Her (2002), and Bad Education 
(2004), he shows a warmth toward his characters. 



□ Cecilia Roth, as the 

heroine of All About 
My Mother (1999), 
is seen against a 
poster advertising 
the appearance of 
her son's idol (Marisa 
Parades) in A Streetcar 
Named Desire. 




□ Victoria Abril, one 

of Pedro Almodovar's 
leading ladies in the 
early 1990s, takes 
direction on the set 
of High Hee/s(1991). 



184 A Z OF DIRECTORS 




□ Film poster, 1976 



Robert Altman 



BORN 1925 DIED 2006 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1951-2006 FILMS 36 



GENRE Satirical comedy, Drama 



With an individualism that gained him the reputation 
of being a difficult man for producers to work with, 
Robert Altman tried something different with each 
film. Unusual by US standards, he refused to make 
formulaic pictures. 

After four forgettable movies, Altman was 
offered M*A*S*H (1970)— after U other directors 
turned it down. Its iconoclasm struck a chord in a 
US disenchanted with the Vietnam War. The director 
later subverted traditional Hollywood genres with 
revisionist Westerns such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller 
(1971), in which the hero (Warren Beatty) is a pimp; 
while Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1 976) reveals 
William Cody (Paul Newman) as a phoney. 

Altman liked to use the same actors, often getting 
performers to improvise their dialogues. He adeptly 
mapped out areas in which a group of people are 



brought together for a purpose. This allowed him 
to manipulate 24 characters in Nashville (1975), 
40 in 4 Wedding (1978), and a huge cast in Short 
Cuts (1993) and Gosford Park (2001). 

The experimental use of sound is a crucial 
feature of Altman's films. Examples include 
simultaneous conversations and loudspeaker 
announcements in M*A*S*H, the 8-track sound 
system in California Split (1974), and the absence 
of a music score in Thieves Like Us (1974). After the 
relative failure of Popeye (1980), and being fired 
from Ragtime (1 981 ), Altman was forced to work 
mostly in television. However, in 1992 he became 
the darling of Hollywood again with The Player. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



M*A*S*H[m0) 



McCabe and Mrs. M/7/er (1971) 



A/as/7w7/e(1975) 



The Player (1992) 



Short Ciyfs(1993) 



Gosford Park (2001) 



A Prairie Home Companion (2006) 



An exploration of an 

inner journey, Eternity 
and a Day (1998) shows 
how time becomes a 
central concern for 
terminally ill Alexandre 
(Bruno Ganz). 



Theo Angelopoulos 

BORN 1935 

NATIONALITY Greek 

CAREER 1970- FILMS 13 

GENRE History, Politics, Epic, Drama 

In 1 975, after the seven-year military dictatorship 
in his country ended, Theo Angelopoulos emerged 
on the international scene with some of the most 
ambitious Greek films to date. 

A portrayal of official incompetence that subtly 
undermines the "Colonels' regime," Days of '36 
[Meres Tou '36, 1972) is the first of a trilogy, 



followed by The Traveling Players [0 Thiasos, 1975) 
and The Hunters [Oi Kynigoi, 1977), all allegories 
of 20th-century Greek politics. In later films, 
Angelopoulos used more widely known actors: 
Marcello Mastroianni in The Beekeeper {0 
Melissokomos, 1986), Harvey Keitel in Ulysses' Gaze 
[To Vlemma tou Odyssea, 1995), and Bruno Ganz 
in Eternity and a Day [Mia aioniotita kai mia mera, 
1998). Featuring slow pans and long takes, the films 
are rewarding metaphysical road movies. Other 
films of note are Landscape in the Mist [Topio stin 
omichli, 1 988) and The Weeping Meadow [Trilogia: 
To livadipou dakryzei, 2004), the first of a projected 
trilogy (followed by The Dust of Time, 2008) that is 
stylistically breathtaking and vividly descriptive. 




WHAT TO WATCH 



The Traveling Players (1 975) 



Landscape in the Mist (1988) 



Eternity and a Day (1998) 



The Weeping Meadow (2004) 




Michelangelo Antonioni 

BORN 1912 DIED 2007 
NATIONALITY Italian 
CAREER 1950-2004 FILMS 17 

GENRE Psychological drama 



The Long tracking shots, set pieces, attention 
to design and architecture, and the relationship 
between the characters and their environment 
are hallmarks of Michelangelo Antonioni's 
meditations on contemporary angst. 

Antonioni's elegant first feature, Story of a 
Love Affair [Cronaca di un Amore, 1 950), reveals 
a personal stamp, but his style reached its 
maturity with LAvventura (1960), which redefined 
the perception of time and space in film. This film 
was followed by La Notte (1961 ) and L'Eclisse (1962) 
to form a trilogy that examined themes of 
alienation. In// Deserto Rosso (1964), Monica Vitti 
portrays Giuliana, a housewife who is driven mad 
by the industrial landscape she is surrounded by. 
Antonioni used deep reds and greens to reflect 
her neurosis, while brighter colors appear 
during her flights of fantasy. In his next four 
films, the director cast his eye outside Italy: on 



China with a documentary, Chung Kuo—Cina (1972); Jack Nicholson 

on "Swinging Sixties" London in BLow-Up (1966), with ^975]" ™ * 

a fashionable photographer at the film's center; on ^f^^fS.^J^^fJl^ 
r 3 r ' that questions notions 

liberated American youth in Zabriskie Point (1 970), f reality and illusion, 
which ends spectacularly with a materialistic 
civilization exploding; and on arid North Africa 
in The Passenger [Prof essione: Reporter, 1975). 

Back in Italy and reunited with Vitti, his lover 
with whom he made four films, Antonioni made 
The Oberwald Mystery [II Mistero di Oberwald, 1 981 ), 
one of the first major pictures to be shot on video. 
He worked on video for the next few years, although 
Identification of a Woman [Identificazione di una 
donna, 1982) was shot on film. In 1985, he had a 
stroke that partially paralyzed him. Despite this, 
he made Beyond the Clouds [Al di la delle nuvole, 
1995)— based on his short stories. 

|"WHAT TO WATCH 

LAvventura (1960) 

La Not te (1961) 

L'Eclisse (1962) 

// Deserto Rosso (1964) 

Blow-Up (1966) 

The Passenger (1975) 



186 AZOF 



DIRECTORS 



Ingmar Bergman 



□ Isak (Erland 
Josephson) and 
Helena Ekdahl 
(Gunn Wallgren) 
share a moment 
of intimacy in Fanny 
and Alexander (1982), 
Bergman's most 
autobiographical film. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



BORN 1918 DIED 2007 



Summer Interlude (1951) 



NATIONALITY Swedish 



CAREER 1946-1982 FILMS 40 



Smiles of a Summer Night (1 955) 
The Seventh Seal (1957) 



GENRE Psychological, Metaphysical drama 

Ingmar Bergman was a pastor's son and his films 
were filled with religious imagery, paradoxically 
expressing a godless, loveless universe. His oeuvre 
can be seen as the autobiography of his psyche. 

Dividing his directing between the stage and the 
screen, Bergman often introduced the theater into 
his films as a metaphor for the duality of personality. 
At least five of his films take place on an island, 
a circumscribed area like the stage. The subject 
of his early work is the struggle of adolescents 
against an unfeeling adult world. The transient, 
sun-soaked Swedish summer days, the only 
period of happiness before the encroachment of 
a winter of discontent, are captured glowingly in 
Summer Interlude [Sommarlek, 1951) and Summer 
with Monika [Sommaren med Monika, 1 953). An 
operettalike comedy of manners, Smiles of a 
Summer Night [Sommarnattens leende, 1955) was 
the culmination of this first period. The Seventh 
Seal [Detsjunde inseglet], set in cruel medieval 
times, and Wild Strawberries [Smultronstallet], 
both 1957, consolidated Bergman's international 
reputation, as did The Face [Ansiktet, 1958)— 



Wild Strawberries (1957) 



The Face (1958) 



Cries and Whispers ( 1 972) 



Autumn Sonata (1978) 



Fanny and Alexander ( 1 982) 



a Gothic tale. The trilogy on the silence of God: 
Through a Glass Darkly [Sasom i en spegel, 1 961 ), 
Winter Light [Nattvardsgasterna, 1963), and The 
Silence [Tystnaden, 1963), moved Bergman into 
a more angst-ridden world. 

Although women have always been central 
to his work, it is with Persona (1966) that the 
female face in close-up became his field of vision. 
A succession of psychodramas followed, including 
the emotionally charged Cries and Whispers 
{Viskningar och rop, 1 972). In Autumn Sonata 
{Hostsonaten, 1978), the director points an 
accusing finger at parental neglect, while Fanny 
and Alexander [Fanny och Alexander, 1982) is a 
magical evocation of childhood. He announced 
this film as his final feature and, although he 
continued to direct for television and theater, 
it was a superlative climax to his 36 years as 
one of film's most profound artists. 




Bernardo Bertolucci 

BORN 1940 

NATIONALITY Italian 

CAREER 1962- FILMS 15 

GENRE Epic, Political, Psychological drama 

The son of a well-known poet, and winner of a 
prestigious poetry prize himself, Bernardo Bertolucci 
believes that "film is the true poetic language," a 
claim justified by many of his wide-ranging films. 

Bertolucci directed his first film The Grim 
Reaper [La Commare Secca, 1 962) at the age of 22. 
In his second, Before the Revolution [Prima delta 
Rivoluzione, 1964), he began to explore important 
themes in his work: father-son relationships and 
political-personal conflict— themes also seen in 
The Spider's Stratagem [Strategia del Ragno, 1 970). 
The Conformist [II Conformista, 1970) successfully 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Before the Revolution (1964) 



The Conformist (1970) 



Last Tango in Paris (1 972) 



7900(1976) 



The Last Emperor (1987) 
The Dreamers (2003) 




brought together his Freudian and political concerns 
in pre-war Italy. However, it was Last Tango in Paris 
(1972) that gained him worldwide notoriety, mainly 
because of the loveless sex scenes between Paul, 
a middle-aged American (Marlon Brando), and a 
young Frenchwoman, Jeanne (Maria Schneider). 

With 1900 (1976), a film about class struggle, 
Bertolucci turned away from the introspection of his 
previous films. The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man [La 
Tragedia di un uomo ridicolo, 1981),anambiguous 
view of terrorism, failed to please the public and 
the critics; but The Last Emperor ( 1 987), the first 
Western film to be made entirely in China and 
covering 60 years of the country's history (1 906-67), 
won nine Oscars, including Best Director, Best 
Picture, and Best Cinematography. The Sheltering 
Sky (1990), set in Africa; Little Buddha (1993); and The 
Dreamers (2003) are other Bertolucci films of note. 



□ Bertolucci directs 
Debra Winger and 
John Malkovich in The 
Sheltering Sky (1990), 
in which an American 
couple travel across 
North Africa to find 
meaning in their 
relationship. 



Luc Besson 



BORN 1959 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1983- FILMS 9 



GENRE Thriller, Science fiction 



Even into his forties, Luc Besson was the enfant 
terrible of French film, getting his inspiration 
from comic books, Hollywood blockbusters, 
and pop videos. 

Besson's first contribution to the French 
movement Cinema du Look in which style 
overrides content, was the flashy Subway (1 985), 
set in a vividly imagined Paris metro that is 
inhabited by social misfits. The breathtaking The 
Big Blue [Le Grand Bleu, 1 988), about two deep-sea 



divers, was a more personal project— Besson's 
parents were diving instructors. Both Nikita (1990), 
a homage to the American action movie, and Leon 
(1 995), set in New York, are thrillers but also explore 
personal growth and morality. Besson's work 
reached its climax in the stylish science fiction, The 
Fifth Element (1 997)— with its spectacular special 
effects— about evil aliens out to destroy mankind. 
In contrast, the exquisite black-and-white film 
Angel-A (2005) is set in a hauntingly vacant Paris. 

JwHAT TO WATCH 

The Big Blue 11988) 



Nikita (1990) 



Leon (1995) 



The Fifth Element [mi] 




Q Film poster, 1997 



188 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



Robert Bresson 



□ Claude Laydu and 

Nicole UAdmiral star in 
Diary of a Country Priest 
(1951), the first truly 
Bressonian film in its 
use of non-professional 
actors, natural sound, 
and pared-down images. 



BORN 1901 DIED 1999 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1943-1983 FILMS 13 



GENRE Metaphysical drama 



Although Robert Bresson made only 13 films in 
40 years, his oeuvre is impressively consistent: 
austere, uncompromising, and elliptical. 




Of his insistence on using only non-professional 
actors in his films, Bresson declared: "Art is 
transformation. Acting can only get in the way." 
However, in his first two films, Angels of the Streets 
[LesAnges du Peche, 1 943) and Ladies of the Park [Les 
Dames du Bois de Boulogne, 1 945)— both about 
the redemption of women— he used professional 
actors. A Man Escaped [Le Vent Souffle ou il Veut, 
1956), a testament to courage, is about a French 
resistance fighter, while Balthazar [Au Hasard 
Balthazar, 1966), about the life of a donkey, is 
one of Bresson's most lyrical films. Many of his 
movies, such as The Trial of Joan of Arc [Proces 
de Jeanne dArc, 1962), end in death. In 1969, 
with A Gentle Creature [Une Femme Douce), he 
started using color, and a more overt sensuality 
was noticeable. The Devil, Probably [Le Diable 
Probablement, 1977) brought the theme of 
pollution— literal and figurative— into Bresson's 
enclosed world. 



[ 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Ladies of the Park (1945) 



Diary of a Country Priest 

[Journal D'un Cure de Campagne, 1 951 ) 



A Man Escaped (1956) 
Balthazar [ 1966) 



LArgent (1983) 




□ Film poster, 1925 



Tod Browning 



BORN 1E 



DIED 1962 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1915-1939 FILMS 47 



GENRE Horror 



The eerily atmospheric horror movies Tod Browning 
made with actors Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi are 
the director's hallmark. 

In 1918, Browning signed with Universal where he 
made 17 movies, including two in which Chaney had 
small roles. After Chaney became a star, the actor 
persuaded MGM to hire Browning. Together, the pair 
made eight horror films, great vehicles for Chaney— 
the "man with a thousand faces." After the actor's 
death in 1 930, Browning moved back to Universal to 



make Dracula (1931) with Lugosi. In the same genre 
are the campy Mark of the Vampire (1935) and the 
inventive The Devil-Doll (1936). In a way, Freaks (1932) 
is an anti-horror movie as it urges audiences not to 
be repulsed by the monsters. This masterpiece was 
banned for 30 years until rehabilitated at the Venice 
Film Festival, a few weeks before Browning's death. 



| WHAT TO WATCH 

The Unholy Three [1925] 



The Blackbird (1926) 



The Unknown [mi] 



West of Zanzibar (1928) 



Dracula (1931) 



Freaks (1932) 
T/7eDewY-Do/Ul936) 



LUIS BUNUEL 189 



Luis Bunuel 



BORN 1900 DIED 1983 



NATIONALITY Spanish 



CAREER 1929-1977 FILMS 34 



GENRE Surrealist drama, Comedy 



Born with the 20th century, Luis Buhuel never 
wavered in his ideas and vision, establishing 
himself as perhaps the most mordantly comic 
and subversive of all the great directors. 

In response to a bourgeois family upbringing and 
a Jesuit school education, Buhuel entered adulthood 
fervently anti-middle class and anti-clerical. 

His first two films, An Andalusian Dog [Un Chien 
Andalou, 1929) and Age of Gold {LAge d'Or, 1930), 
both made under the influence of Andre Breton's 
Surrealist Manifesto, contained many themes- 
Catholicism, the bourgeoisie, and rationality— that 
would reappear in his later films. After Land Without 
Bread [Las Hurdes, 1 933)— a stark documentary 
about the contrast between peasant poverty and 
the wealth of the Church— was banned in Spain, 
Buhuel did not make another film for 15 years. 

In 1947, he moved to Mexico and made The 
Young and the Damned [Los Olvidados, 1 950), a 
powerful, detached view of a cruel world of juvenile 
delinquents. Despite directing about a dozen cheap 
films for the home market, he managed to make 
gems like Torments [El, 1953), Robinson Crusoe 
(1 952), and Wuthering Heights [Abismos de pasion, 
1953). Viridiana (1961), the first film in 29 years that 
he made in his native land, is a savage comedy 
about Catholic mentality and rituals— again 



WHAT TO WATCH 



An Andalusian Dog (1929) 
Age of Gold (1930) 



The Young and the Damned (1950) 



Nazarin (1958) 



Viridiana (1961) 



The Exterminating Angel (1962) 



Diary of a Chambermaid (1 964) 
Belle de Jour (1967) 



Tristana (1970) 



The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1 972) 




banned in Spain. Nevertheless, because of the 
film's critical success, Buhuel was welcomed back 
into the center of world film. The Exterminating 
Angel [El Angel exterminador, 1962), made in Mexico, 
is a parable about guests at a sumptuous party who 
find it physically impossible to leave. In The Discreet 
Charm of the Bourgeoisie [Le charme discret de la 
bourgeoisie, 1972), the wealthy are unable to get 
anything to eat. Two other masterpieces are Diary of 
a Chambermaid [Le journal d'une femme de chambre, 
1964), a cynical take on Octave Mirbeau's novel, and 
the witty, erotic, and subversive Belle deJour (1967). 



□ Silvia Pinal plays 
novice nun Viridiana, 
who fights a losing 
battle to remain true 
to her moral ideals and 
faith in Viridiana (1961), 
which won the Best 
Film award at Cannes. 



□ Catherine Deneuve 

plays Severine Serizy 
and Michel Piccoli 
plays Henri Husson in 
Belle de Jour (19 67), 
in which Severine is 
a middle-class wife 
who leads a double 
life, playing out the 
fantasies of the rich. 




190 I A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



states that an unknown man came to him in 1935 
and told him to use his gifts for God's purpose. 
Following this advice, he lost the sensuality and 
anarchy in his films and replaced his central 
female characters with idealistic boy-scout 
heroes. The result was sentimental social 
comedies that were deemed "Capra-esque." 
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Meet John 
Doe (1941) with Gary Cooper, and You Can't Take 
It with You (1 938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 
(1939), and It's a Wonderful Life (1946), with 
James Stewart, glorify the little man's fight 
for what is right and decent. Politically naive 
as they are, the films have comic pace and 
invention, splendid sets, as in Lost Horizon 
(1937), and outstanding performances. 

WHAT TO WATCH 

Platinum Blonde (1931) 

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) 

Lady for a Day (1933) 

It Happened One Night ( 1 934) 

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1 936) 

You Can't Take It with You (1938) 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 

It's a Wonderful L/fe (1946) 



□ James Stewart 

plays the eponymous 
hero in Mr. Smith Goes 
to Washington [WW). 
The quintessential 
everyman is seen here 
with Clarissa Saunders 
(Jean Arthur). 




Frank Capra 



BORN 1897 DIED 1991 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1926-1961 FILMS 37 



GENRE Comedy, Melodrama, Drama 




Q Film poster, 1937 



From 1936 onward, Frank Capra 's films evoked 
the American Dream, through which any honest, 
decent, and patriotic American could overcome 
corruption and disappointment to prove the 
power of the individual. 

Capra began his movie career as a 
gag writer for comedian Harry Langdon. 
After directing movies at First National, 
he went to Columbia, where he made 
madcap comedies such as Platinum 
Blonde (1 931 ), American Madness 
(1932), and It Happened One Night 
(1934), which won five Academy 
Awards and turned Columbia from 
a "Poverty Row" studio into a major 
one. He also made Barbara Stanwyck a star at 
Columbia with four movies, including The Bitter 
Tea of General Yen (1933). An early masterpiece 
was Lady for a Day (1933), filled with wonderful 
New York street characters. Capra 's autobiography 



MARCEL CARNE 191 




Marcel Carne 



BORN 1909 DIED 1996 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1936-1974 FILMS 20 



GENRE Poetic realism, Costume drama 

In Marcel Carries Hotel du Nord (1938), Raymonde 
(ArLetty), observing her dingy surroundings, cries, 
"Atmosphere! Atmosphere!" There are many such 
dialogues in his best films, which, mostly written 
by Jacques Prevert and shot by Alexandre Trauner, 
were beautifully crafted, written, and played. 

After assisting Belgian director Jacques Feyder 
on four of his greatest films between 1 933 and 1 935, 
Carne directed Feyder's wife, Francoise Rosay, in 
Jenny (1 936). This was co-scripted by poet Jacques 
Prevert, with whom Carne was to collaborate on six 
further films over the next decade. Bizarre Bizarre 
[Drdie de Drame, 1937), an eccentric comedy thriller 
set in an imaginary Victorian London, was followed 
by Port of Shadows [Le Quai des Brumes, 1 938), the 
film that created the melancholic "poetic realism" 
associated with the director and his screenwriters. 
The slant-eyed Michele Morgan along with the 
doomed Jean Gabin trying to grab happiness in a 
fog-bound port are images typically associated with 
the world-weariness in pre-war France. Daybreak 



[Le Jourse Leve, 1 939), one of the most celebrated 
of the Carne— Prevert poetic realist films, made 
memorable use of the dark set and the small room 
in which Gabin, wanted for murder, has barricaded 
himself. The Nazi occupation of France forced 
Carne to make "escapist" films such as The Devil's 
Envoys [Les Visiteurs du Soir, 1942)— a medieval 
fairy tale— and Children of Paradise [Les Enfants 
du Paradis, 1945), a rich evocation of 19th-century 
Paris. Gates of the Night [Les Portes de la Nuit, 
1946), which marked the end of the Carne— 
Prevert partnership, failed to take into account 
the optimistic post-war mood in France, and 
flopped at the box office. Carne attempted to 
capture old glory with Jean Gabin in La Marie 
du Port (1950), and TheAdultress {Therese 
Raquin, 1953), but he was a spent force and his 
reputation, despite some youth films such as 
Youthful Sinners [Les Tricheurs, 1 958), was swept 
away by the French New Wave (see pp. 42-43). 



WHAT TO WATCH 

Bizarre Bizarre (1937) 



Port of Shadows (1938) 



Daybreak (1939) 



The Devil's Envoys ( 1 942) 



□ Jean (Jean Gabin) 
and Nelly (Michele 
Morgan), play doomed 
lovers who meet 
in a misty French 
seaside city, in Port 
of Shadows (1938). 




□ Film poster, 1938 



Children of Paradise ( 1 945) 



192 A Z OF DIRECTORS 




□ A gangster's moll 

(Gena Rowlands) and 
Phil (John Adames) 
are chased by crooks 
in Gloria (1980). 



John Cassavetes 



BORN 1929 DIED 1S 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1959-19 



FILMS 12 



GENRE Drama 



Actor-director John Cassavetes is remembered as 
the godfather of American independent filmmakers. 
Although his breakthrough film Shadows (1959) was 
not the first US movie made outside the system, it 
became a rallying point for future generations. 

The searing domestic drama Faces (1968), which 
was self-financed, had a great impact when first 
released. It played for a year in New York and earned 
Oscar nominations for its cast of unknowns. 



Cassavetes was often labeled an improvisational 
filmmaker, but his movies were almost entirely 
scripted. Yet, the director had a preference 
for documentary-style camerawork and was 
obsessed with human interaction. His wife 
Gena Rowlands became his muse, appearing 
in Minnie and Moskowitz (1 971 ), A Woman Under 
the Influence (1 974), Opening Night (1 977), Gloria 
(1980), and Love Streams (1984). 



[ 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Shadows (1959) 



Faces (1968) 



Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) 



Gloria (1980) 



Claude Chabrol 



□ Stephane Audran 

(right) and Bernadette 
Lafont are the bored 
Parisian shopgirls 
longing for better 
lives in Chabrol's Les 
Bonnes Femmes (1960). 



BORN 1930 DIED 2010 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1958-2009 FILMS 53 



GENRE Crime 




Credited with starting La Nouvelle Vague or the 
French NewWave film movement (see pp. 42-43), 
the prolific Claude Chabrol created an oeuvre of 
ironic black comedies, and endless variations on 
the theme of infidelity and murder. 

Murder, often seen as an inevitable act, is at 
the heart of most of Chabrol's films. He mocked the 
complacency of bourgeois marriage in his movies, 
which often came with the added spice of Stephane 
Audran (his second wife) in the role of the victim or 
as the cause of murder. Whatever seethes under the 
surface of his characters— guilt, jealousy, or crime— 
the niceties of life go on. Large meals at home or in 
a restaurant became his signature scenes. Although 
Chabrol had always been happy in the mainstream, 
it was his Le Beau Serge (1958), made on location 
in his own village, that is considered the first film 
of the New Wave. After Audran, Chabrol found, in 
Isabelle Huppert, the ideal actress to portray his 
perverse heroines with a taste for murder. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Cousins [Les Cousins, 1 959) 



The Good Time Girls [Les Bonnes Femmes, 1960) 

The Unfaithful Wife [La Femme Infidele, 1969) 

The Hatter's Ghost 

[Les Fantdmes du Chapelier, 1 982) 

The Ceremony [La Ceremonie, 1 995) 

Nightcap [MerciPourle Chocolat, 2000) 




Charlie Chaplin 



BORN 1£ 



DIED 1977 



NATIONALITY British 



CAREER 1921-1967 FILMS 11 



GENRE Comedy, Drama 



Born in the Victorian slums of Lambeth in London, 
Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland as the wealthy 
Sir Charles. He became one of the most famous 
men in the world on the strength of over 60 silent 
shorts made before 1920, and only a handful of 
unforgettable features. 

In 1913, Chaplin, the son of music hall 
performers, went to Mack Sennett's Keystone 
Studios in Hollywood where he featured in dozens 
of short slapstick comedies. In Kid Auto Races at 
Venice (19U), he appeared for the first time as 
the Little Tramp, a character he was to play until 
1936. Chaplin was soon directing and writing all his 
own films, gradually breaking away from the crude 
techniques of the Sennett comedies. He introduced 
pathos and a detailed social background into 
more structured and ambitious farces such as Easy 
Street (1917) and The Immigrant [mi). His first 
feature, The Kid (1 921 ), was set in the London slums. 



A Woman of Paris (1923) starred Edna Purviance— his 
leading lady in almost 30 comedies— as a high-class 
prostitute. Although critically acclaimed, the feature 
failed at the box office. The next three films were 
Chaplin's greatest: The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus 
(1928), and City Lights (1931), and all managed to 
shift, Dickens-like, from satire to pathos to comedy. 

Feeling that talkies would weaken his global 
appeal, Chaplin resisted dialogue for 13 years. 
In Modern Times (1936), his voice is heard for the 
first time— singing gibberish. The Great Dictator 
(1940), his first real talkie, has many comic 
set-pieces as well as being an attack on Hitler. 
Chaplin continued to experiment with styles in 
Monsieur Verdoux (1947) and Limelight (1952), 
which contains a stunning music hall sequence. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Kid (1921) 



A Woman of Paris (1923) 



The Gold Rush (1925) 



The C/rcus (1928) 



City Lights [WW 



Modern Times (1936) 
The Great Dictator (19 40) 



193 



Q Chaplin, artist 
extraordinaire, is 

seen here behind the 
camera for The Gold 
Rush (1925). Said to be 
his favorite film, it has a 
famous scene showing 
the poor hero reduced 
to eating his shoes. 




194 a-z OF DIRECTORS 




□ Film poster, 1932 



Rene Clair 



BORN U 



DIED 1981 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1924-1965 FILMS 23 



GENRE Comedy, Fantasy, Musical 



The films of Rene Clair have the same reputation 
for gaiety as Paris, the city in which he was born. 
In the 1920s, he created some of the most original 
films of early French film. 

Entr'acte (1924)— a 20-minute surrealistic but 
playful film shot in the city and featuring modernist 
artists such as Marcel Duchamp— earned Clair the 
reputation of being a member of the avant-garde. 
His adaptation of Eugene Labiche's 19th-century 
farce, The Italian Straw Hat [Un Chapeau de Faille 
d'ltalie, 1928), in which he substituted many of the 
play's verbal jokes with visual ones, was made with 
clockwork precision. His first film with sound, Under 
the Roofs of Paris [Sous ies Toits de Paris, 1 930)— one 
of the very first French talkies— uses songs, sound 
effects, and street noises (created in the studio). 

The musical comedies The Million [Le Million, 
1 931 ) and Freedom for Us [A Nous la Liberte, 1 931 ) 
influenced Hollywood musicals in the use of related 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Italian Straw Hat ( 1 928) 
Under the Roofs of Paris (1930) 



The Million (1 931) 



Freedom for Us (1931) 



The Last Billionaire 

[Le Dernier Milliardaire, 1934) 



The Ghost Goes West (1935) 
It Happened Tomorrow [ 1 944) 



Night Beauties [Les Belles de Nuit, 1 952) 



Summer Manoeuvres (1955) 



action and songs, while the latter's satire on the 
dehumanizing effects of mass production inspired 
Chaplin's Modern Times (1936). Just before the 
war, Clair left France to work abroad. Whether in 
Britain [The Ghost Goes West, 1 935) or in the US 
(/ Married a Witch, 1942), he continued to direct in 
his carefree way. His post-war films include Beauty 
and the Devil [La Beaute du Diable, 1 950) and, his 
first film in France for over a decade, Silence is 
Golden [Le Silence est d'Or, 1947)— a regretful look 
at silent film. Clair's gentle irony is evident in the 
comedy Summer Manoeuvres [Les Grandes 
Manoeuvres, 1955), his first film in color. 



□ Christina (Vera 
Clouzot) looks on 
as Nicole (Simone 
Signoret) prepares 
to kill her husband 
by mixing poison in 
his whiskey bottle 
in Diabolique (1955). 



Henri-Georges Clouzot 



BORN 1907 DIED 1977 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1942-19 



FILMS 14 



GENRE Thriller 



Mainly because of bad health, Henri-Georges 
Clouzot made only 14 films, most of them 
exceptionally dark in character, with a fine 
observation of human frailty. 




Clouzot's second film, The Raven [Le Corbeau, 1943), 
about the effect poison-pen letters have on a French 
village, took a bleak view of provincial life. In 1 953, 
he made the successful The Wages of Fear [Le Salaire 
de la Peur), about four men transporting dangerous 
nitro-glycerine in trucks. Diabolique [Les Diaboliques, 
1955) is a chilling tale of murder set in a school. 
An intriguing documentary, The Picasso Mystery [Le 
Mystere Picasso, 1956) brilliantly captures the painter 
at work. The Truth [La Verite, 1960) is an awkward 
coming together of the New Wave (see pp. 42-43) 
actress Brigitte Bardot with the "old guard." 



WHAT TO WATCH 

The Raven (1943) 



Quay of the Goldsmiths [Quai des Orfevres, 1 947) 



The Wages of Fear (1953) 



Diabolique (1955) 



The Picasso Mystery ( 1 956) 



JOEL AND ETHAN COEN 195 



Jean Cocteau 



BORN 1£ 



DIED 1963 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1930-1960 FILMS t 



GENRE Avant-garde, Fantasy 



Poet, novelist, playwright, film director, designer, 
painter, stage director, and ballet producer— the 
versatile Jean Cocteau directed six films that make 
up part of his work in other art forms. 

For Cocteau, films were another form of poetry. 
He made his first film when he was 41 and already 
famous. The Blood of a Poet [Le Sang D'un Poete, 
1930) contains all the signs and symbols of his 
personal mythology evident in his novels, poems, 



and drawings. The haunting, witty Orpheus [Orphee, 
1950) is a perfect marriage between Greek myth and 
Cocteau's own ideas. It elaborates on the theme of 
the poet caught between the worlds of the real and the 
imaginary, as is the heroine in Beauty and the Beast 
[La Belle et la Bete, 1 946). Testament of 
Orpheus [Le Testament d 'Orphee, 1960) is 
a poetic, semi-autobiographical evocation 
of the director's work. 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Blood of a Poet (1930) 
Beauty and the Beast ( 1 946) 



Orpheus (1950) 



The Testament of Orpheus (1960) 



□ Film poster, 1946 



Joel and Ethan Coen 

BORN 1954 (Joel), 1957 (Ethan) 
NATIONALITY American 
CAREER 1984- FILMS 15 

GENRE Film noir, Comedy, Drama 

When the Coen brothers first burst onto the film 
scene with Blood Simple in 1984, they immediately 
established their credentials as true descendents of 
the masters of American film noir, while putting their 
own distinctive, often quirky stamp on their films. 

Blood Simple helped to ignite the indie film 
movement of the mid-1980s. Despite having 
their movies financed and distributed by major 
studios, the Coen brothers have remained true 
independents. Nominally, Joel directs and Ethan 

[what to watch 

Blood Simplest) 
Raising Arizona (1987) 



Barton Fink (1991) 



Fargo (1996) 



The Big Lebowski (1998) 



No Country for Old Men (2007) 



A Serious Man (2009) 
True Grit (2010) 



produces, but as Joel has said, "We really co-direct 
the movies. We could just as easily take the credit 
'produced, written, and directed' by the two of us." 

Crime is the core of their films, but intrinsically 
they are fables of good versus evil. Most are film 
noirs disguised as horror [Blood Simple], farce 
[Raising Arizona, 1987), gangster movie [Miller's 
Crossing, 1990), psychological drama [Barton Fink, 
1991), police thriller [Fargo, 1996), black comedy 
[The Big Lebowski, 1998), social drama [0 Brother, 
Where Art Thou?, 2000), and Western [No Country 
for Old Men, 2007). The Man Who Wasn't There 
(2001) is their most direct homage to 1940s film 
noir, while True Grit (201 0) is their take on the 
Western in a contemporary style. However different 
they are on the surface, each film contains elements 
of the other: horror edging into comic-strip farce, 
violence into slapstick, and vice versa. 



□ John Turturro, 

Tim Blake Nelson, and 
George Clooney star 
in O Brother, Where 
Art Thou? (2000), an 
easy-going comedy 
about escaped convicts. 




196 



Q Francis Ford Coppola 

(right) is seen here with 
Joe Mantegna on the 
set of The Godfather: 
Part III (1990), in 
which Mantegna 
plays Joey Zasa, a 
rival of the Corleones. 




D Film poster, 1979 



Francis Ford Coppola 

BORN 1939 

NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1962- FILMS 21 

GENRE Gangster, War, Drama 

In his rollercoaster career, not only has Francis 
Ford Coppola always been torn between two 
extremes of filmmaking— the massive epic form, 
and the small, intimate film— but has fluctuated 
between mammoth hits as well as failures. 

It was Coppola who led the way for other 
"movie brat" directors, such as Martin Scorsese, 
George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg, to emerge 
from film schools and storm into Hollywood in 
the 1 970s. Coppola first worked as writer and 
assistant director to Roger Corman, who enabled 
him to direct his first movie, Dementia 13 (1963). 
You're a Big Boy Now (1966), a lively comedy about 
a young man's sexual education, was very much a 
movie by a 26-year-old of the mid-1960s. In 1969, 
Coppola opened his own studio, American Zoetrope, 
after the unhappy experience of making the 
musical Finians Rainbow (1 968) for Warner Bros. 
The Conversation (1974), made for Zoetrope, is 
a post-Watergate thriller about a professional 
eavesdropper (Gene Hackman) being under 
surveillance himself. The Godfather (1972) made 
Coppola one of the world's most bankable 



directors, while The Godfather: Part II (1 974) won 
six Oscars, and is one of the few sequels that is 
considered better than the original. 

With Apocalypse Now (1 979), Coppola succeeded in 
his desire to "give its audience a sense of the horror, 
the madness, the sensuousness, and the moral 
dilemma of the Vietnam War." The film, costing 
$31 million, took three-and-a-half years to 
complete and five years to break even. The failure 
of One From the Heart (1 982), a $27-million musical 
romance, led Coppola to scale down his ambitions 
with two teen films, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish 
(both 1 983), the casts of which now read like a 
Who's Who for the Brat Pack. Tucker: The Man and 
His Dream (1988), about an entrepreneur's pursuit 
of a dream, then followed. Coppola returned to 
familiar territory with The Godfather: Part III (1990), 
concluding a saga that started off as "just another 
gangster picture" and ended up being one of the 
great achievements of post-war American film. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Godfather (1972) 



The Conversation (1974) 



The Godfather: Part II (1 974) 



Apocalypse Now ( 1 979) 



The Outsiders (1983) 



Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1 988) 
The Godfather: Part III (1990) 



MICHAEL CURTIZ 197 



George Cukor 



BORN 1899 DIED 1983 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1930-1981 FILMS 49 



GENRE Comedy, Musical, Drama 



The name George Cukor on movie titles conjures 
up the image of a sophisticated dinner party where 
elegant people meet, and the conversation is pitched 
at the right level— neither vulgar nor highbrow. 

Cukor's career had a shaky start when he 
was taken off an early film One Hour with You, 
(1932). The same thing happened in 1939, when he 
was taken off Gone With the Wind. At MGM, however, 
he distinguished himself with productions such as 
Dinner at Eight (1933), David Copperfield (1935), 
and Romeo and Juliet (1936). He soon gained the 
reputation of a "woman's director," and the titles of 
many of his films reflect this: Little Women (1933); 
The Women (1939), with an all-female cast; Camille 
(1936); Two-Faced Woman (1941); A Woman's Face 
(1941); Les Girls (1957); and My Fair Lady (1964), for 
which he won his only Academy Award. His favorite 



actress was Katharine Hepburn, whom he directed 
in A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Holiday (1938), The 
Philadelphia Story (1 940), and Sylvia Scarlett (1 935). 
Later, Cukor moved to harder-edged comedies 
such as Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and 
Born Yesterday (1950). Cukor reached his peak in 
the 1950s with A Star is Born (1954), in which his 
use of lighting, color, and costumes surpassed 
all other musicals on the CinemaScope screen. 



! WHAT TO WATCH 



Dinner at Eight (1933) 



Little Women (1933) 



Sylvia Scarlett (1935) 



David Copperfield 



Camille (1936) 



Holiday [ 1938) 



The Women (1939) 



The Philadelphia Story (1 940) 
Adam's Rib (1949) 



A Star is Born (1954) 



My Fair Lady [ 1964) 




D Film poster, 1964 



Michael Curtiz 



BORN 1888 DIED 1962 



NATIONALITY Hungarian (American) 



CAREER 1912-1962 FILMS 163 



GENRE Drama 



Representing the archetypal studio director of 
Hollywood's golden era, Michael Curtiz, under 
contract to Warner Bros, for 27 years, turned 
out more than 1 50 films of every genre. 

During the 1930s and 1940s, Curtiz, who had 
made many films in Hungary and Austria, was 
the studio's ideal director, filming with economy, 



j WHAT TO WATCH 

Kid Galahad (1937) 



The Adventures of Robin Hood ( 1 938) 



Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) 



Casablanca (1942) 



fluency, and pace. He made over a dozen pictures 
with Errol Flynn, including some of the star's best 
swashbucklers, such as The Adventures of Robin 
Hood (1938). He directed James Cagney in Angels 
with Dirty Faces (1938) and Yankee Doodle Dandy 
(1942), for which Cagney won his only Oscar. Joan 
Crawford, too, won her sole Academy Award under 
Curtiz's guidance for Mildred Pierce (1945). In Life 
With Father (1947), he explores comedy, while his 
unmistakable touch is also seen in Casablanca (1942). 




□ Clarence (William 
Powell) and Vinnie 
(Irene Dunne), are 
seen here with their 
sons, played by Johnny 
Calkins, Martin Milner, 
Jimmy Lydon, and 
Derek Scott in Life 
With Father [WW). 



198 a-z OF DIRECTORS 



Cecil B DeMille 



BORN 1881 DIED 1959 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 19U-1956 FILMS 72 



□ Charlton Heston 

plays Moses in The Ten 
Commandments (1956); 
DeMille 's grandiose 
remake featured a 
cast of thousands 
and gigantic sets. 



GENRE Epic, Western, Comedy, Melodrama 

A name that evokes the image of a larger-than- 
life showman is Cecil B. DeMille— the director 
who made extravagant Biblical epics. However, 
his films covered much wider ground during 
Hollywood's "Golden Age." 




After a few Westerns, including The Squaw Man 
(19U), one of the first major films produced in 
Hollywood, DeMille brought Metropolitan Opera 
soprano Geraldine Farrar from New York to play 
the eponymous heroine in Carmen (1915). In 1918, 
the director made a series of risque domestic 
comedies, six of them starring Gloria Swanson. 
These were followed by The Ten Commandments 
(1923), which parallels the Biblical story with a 
modern one. Sex and religion were bedfellows 
in the films The King of Kings (1 927), The Sign of 
the Cross (1932), and The Crusades (1935). His 
only musical, Madam Satan (1930), featured a 
bizarre party sequence on a Zeppelin. The milk 
bath in Cleopatra (1934) with Claudette Colbert 
highlighted his obsession with bathtub scenes. 

DeMille 's best period was from 1937 to 1947, 
during which he directed The Plainsman (1936), 
North West Mounted Police (1940), and Unconquered 
(1 947), all of which starred Gary Cooper. Lively, 
unsubtle, and patriotic celebrations of the 
pioneers of America, they extolled strength, 
perseverance, and forthright manliness. DeMille 
saw himself as a pioneer too, and he would 
narrate many of his films in a grandiloquent 
manner, returning to the Bible with Samson 
and Delilah (1949). When receiving praise for 
the climactic destruction of the temple, DeMille 
claimed modestly, "Credit is due to the Book 
of Judges, not me." The director was attracted 
to the circus, and The Greatest Show on Earth 
(1952) was his first film set in contemporary 
times since 1934. Before he died, he was 
planning to make Be Prepared, an epic story 
of the boy-scout movement. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Cheat (1915) 

The Ten Commandments (1923) 



Cleopatra (1934) 



The Plainsman (1936) 



Union Pacific (1939) 



Reap the Wild Wind [19 A2) 



Unconquered (1947) 
Samson and Delilah [ 1 949) 



The Greatest Show on Earth (1 952) 



The Ten Commandments (1956) 




199 



Vittorio De Sica 



BORN 1901 DIED 1974 



NATIONALITY Italian 



CAREER 1940-1974 FILMS 25 



GENRE Drama, Melodrama, Comedy 



The neorealist (see pp.1 54-55) films of Vittorio 
De Sica changed the face of Italian film. The 
director claimed that "my films are a word in 
favor of the poor and unhappy and against the 
indifference of society toward suffering." 

A successful stage and film actor throughout 
the 1920s and 1930s, De Sica directed four light 
comedies before making a sudden breakthrough 
with the dramatic, humane, and sharply realistic 
The Children Are Watching Us (/ Bambini ci Guardano, 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Shoeshine [1M6] 



Bicycle Thieves (1948) 



Miracle in Milan (1951) 



Umberto D. (1952) 



Two Women (1960) 



The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) 



1944), one of the first Italian neorealist films. It was 
De Sica's first important collaboration with the writer 
Cesare Zavattini, who worked on many of his films. 
They both believed in the camera's responsibility to 
observe real life as it is lived without the traditional 
compromises of entertaining narratives. 

De Sica proved himself a sensitive director of 
children again in Shoeshine [Sciuscia, 1946), set 
in Rome during the Allied occupation and dealing 
with the main theme of the neorealists— poverty in 
post-war Italy. The film had non-professional actors 
in real locations. It was an international sensation, 
and the first non-English language film to win an 
honorary Academy Award. Yet, De Sica had to raise 
the money himself for Bicycle Thieves [Ladridi 
Biciclette, 1948), his most famous film. Miracle in 
Milan [Miracolo a Milano, 1 951 ), set in a shanty town 
where the poor get all they desire, prefigured the 
work of Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini. 
Following Umberto D. (1952), an ode to his father, 
De Sica returned to comedy. However, Two Women 
[La Ciociara, 1960), which gained Sophia Loren a 
Best Actress Academy Award, is a stark tale of 
a mother and her daughter trying to survive in Italy 
in 1943. His next notable film was The Garden of the 
Finzi-Continis III Giardino dei Finzi Contini, 1 970), 
about Italy's involvement in the Holocaust. It won 
the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 



G3 Vittorio De Sica 

is seen here standing 
behind his cameraman 
at an outdoor shoot 
of Umberto D. (1952), 
a poignant, lyrical 
tale about an old 
man's struggle to 
retain his dignity in 
the face of poverty. 




D Film poster, 1948 



200 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



^^^ m Carl Dreyer 




D Film poster, 1943 



BORN U 



DIED 1968 



NATIONALITY Danish 



CAREER 1919-1964 FILMS 15 



GENRE Drama 



In the relatively few films he made over 50 years, Carl 
Dreyer used deceptively simple means to achieve 
powerful effects and a cool emotional intensity. 

One of Dreyer's first mature works, Mikael (1924), 
is close to German expressionism (see box, p. 259), 
while the feminist Master of the House [Duskalsere 
dinhustru, 1925) is more naturalistic— yet they both 
have a formal beauty that is also seen in The 
Passion of Joan of Arc [La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, 
1928), his ground-breaking silent film. The Vampire 
[Vampyr, 1 932) makes other horror films look 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Master of the House (1925) 



The Passion of Joan of Arc (1 928) 



The Vampire (1932) 



Day of Wrath (1943) 



The Word (1955) 



Gerfruc/(1964) 



insignificant. Day of Wrath [Vredensdag, 1943), which 
follows a witch-hunt in 1 7th-century Denmark, was 
thought to be an allegory for occupied Denmark. 
The Word [Ordet, 1955), which tells of a miraculous 
resurrection in a rural household, is an extraordinary 
expression of spiritual optimism. Gertrud (1964), 
his last film, was made after a ten-year break from 
directing. It radiates a deep and affecting 
atmosphere of serenity. 



A devastated Jimmy 

(Sean Penn) learns of 
his daughter's murder 
in Mystic River (2003); 
Eastwood's standout 
direction makes this 
multi-layered film 
hauntingly real. 



Clint Eastwood 



BORN 1930 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1971- FILMS 32 



GENRE Western, Thriller, Action, Drama 

After making his name as an actor in the 1950s and 
1960s, Clint Eastwood emerged as a director in the 
early 1970s, gaining admiration for his range of 
movies, particularly his personal Westerns. 

In Italy during the mid-1960s, three Sergio Leone 
Spaghetti Westerns launched Clint Eastwood's 
film-acting career. Back in the US, he made five 
movies for Don Siegel in which he continued to play 
loners, notably the diffident detective Harry Callahan 
in Dirty Harry (1971). There are elements of Leone 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Play Misty for Me (1971) 



The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) 



Bird (1988) 



Unforgiven (1992) 



Mystic River (2003) 



Million Dollar Baby (2004) 



Flags of Our Fathers (2006) 



Letters From two Jima (2006) 



Invictus (2009) 



and Siegel in his own films as actor-director. Siegel's 
influence is evident in his first feature, Play Misty 
for Me (1971), a misogynistic thriller; and Leone's 
is seen in High Plains Drifter (1973), a moody, 
stylishly self-conscious Western. Eastwood soon 
came into his own with his self-mocking Westerns, 
often revealing flaws in his macho image. The 
Outlaw Josey Wales (1 976), Bronco Billy (1 980), Pale 
Rider (1 985)— his most classic Western— and the 
Academy Award-winning Unforgiven (1992), are the 
summation of his career in this genre. He showed 
his versatility in cop movies: Sudden Impact (1983), 
The Rookie (1990), and Mystic River (2003); biopics: 
Bird (1988), and White Hunter, Black Heart (1990); 
love stories: The Bridges of Madison County (1 995); 
and a boxing drama, Million Dollar Baby (2004). 




Sergei Eisenstein 



BORN 18 



DIED 1948 



NATIONALITY Russian 



CAREER 1925-1944 FILMS i 



GENRE Propaganda, Avant-garde, Epic 

One of the undisputed geniuses of film, Sergei 
Eisenstein was not oniy a Leading practitioner of 
his art, but its principal theorist. Despite strict 
Soviet government guidelines, he was able to set 
his personal stamp on the seven features he was 
allowed to complete. 

In Eisenstein's first film, Strike [Stachka, 1925), 
many of his stylistic devices were already in 
evidence: caricature, visual metaphors, and shock 
cutting— a factory boss uses a lemon squeezer 
as police move in on striking workers; shots of 
a slaughterhouse are cut in as the police mow 
them down. What Eisenstein defined as "dynamic 
montage" (rapid cutting) is used to devastating 
effect in the "Odessa Steps" sequence in The 
Battleship Potemkin [Bronenosets Potyomkin, 1925). 

The "intellectual montage," based on Eisenstein's 
editing technique, at which the audience must not 
only react emotionally but be shocked into thinking, 
was perfected in October [Oktyabr, 1927). The number 
of shots— 3,200— was more than double those of 
Potemkin. The emotional and rhythmic composition 
shows the storming of the Winter Palace, the 
dismemberment of the Tsar's statue, and a dead 
white horse sliding off a drawbridge into the river. 
The film completed his Russian Revolution trilogy, 
through which several motifs reappear— especially 
that of turning wheels representing change: Strike 
ending in defeat, The Battleship Potemkin in partial 
triumph, and October in ultimate victory. October 
displeased those in power, who felt that Eisenstein 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Strike [1924] 



The Battleship Potemkin (1925) 



October [ 1927) 



The General Line (or The Old and the New, 1928) 



Alexander Nevsky ( 1 938) 



Ivan the Terrible Part I ( 1 944) 

Ivan the Terrible Part II (1946, released 1958) 




was unwise to experiment with a film whose subject 
matter was as sensitive as that of the revolution. 
He tried to appease the party with The General Line 
[Staroye i Novoye, 1928), but could not restrain his 
ironic humor, such as in the mock marriage of 
a cow and a bull, and when the milk hovers for a 
moment in a cream-separator before it splatters 
orgasmically onto a woman's face. 

In 1931, left-wing American novelist Upton 
Sinclair agreed to finance Que Viva Mexico (1931). 
It was originally intended as a four-part semi- 
documentary on Mexican life and history, but 
Eisenstein overran the time and budget. The 
money was withdrawn, and he never got to edit the 
material he had shot. Today the film exists in various 
re-edited forms and its baroque images, tinged 
with eroticism, make the viewer regret the loss. 

Charged with "formalism" in the unfinished 
Bezhin Meadow [Bezhin Lug, 1 936), Eisenstein 
recanted by making the patriotic spectacle 
Alexander Nevsky [Aleksandr Nevskiy, 1938), a richly 
enjoyable epic with stirring images and a dramatic 
use of Prokofiev's music, especially in the famous 
"Battle of the Ice" sequence. Taking his imagery 
from grand opera, Japanese kabuki theater, and 
Shakespearean and Russian icons, Eisenstein 
embarked on the three parts of Ivan the Terrible 
[Ivan Groznyyl, II, 1944-1946), but only two were 
completed. Stalin approved Part I, but as Ivan's 
character became more complex, he turned 
against it, perhaps recognizing something of 
himself. Part II was not shown until 10 years 
after both Eisenstein's and Stalin's deaths. Ivan the 
Terrible is the peak of Eisenstein's work, fulfilling 
his ambitions of achieving a synthesis of all the arts. 



□ Eisenstein (third 
left) directs the cast of 
Ivan the Terrible Part II 

(1958) during the winter 
of 1943 in Kazakhstan. 



D Film poster, 1925 



202 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



Bin his short Life, 

Fassbinder made more 
than 40 productions, 
including television 
and stage work. He 
also wrote, edited, 
photographed, and 
produced many 
of his films. 



Rainer Werner Fassbinder 

BORN 1945 DIED 1982 
NATIONALITY German 

CAREER 1969-1982 FILMS 23 

GENRE Melodrama 

Almost a one-man film industry, Rainer Werner 
Fassbinder made dozens of films over a period 
of 12 years: a surprising, consistent, entertaining, 
probing, and lively output. 

With friends from the Munich Action Theater 
Group, Fassbinder began making movies in 1969, 
rapidly becoming a part of the new generation of 
young directors putting German film back on the 
map after 30 years. Often starring his favorite 
actress Hanna Schygulla, Fassbinder's films reveal 
a heartless, avaricious post-war Germany. The 
characters tend to be frustrated by the barrenness 
of urban existence, sometimes turning to violence, 
as in The Third Generation {Die Dritte Generation, 
1979), which focuses on a Berlin terrorist group. 
One of the many Fassbinder films to use Douglas 
Sirk's Hollywood melodramas as its prime model, 
Fear Eats the Soul [Angst essen Seele auf, 1 974) 
borrows the plot from All That Heaven Allows 
(1955) and shows a lonely aging woman having 
an affair with a younger Arab man. Women are 
generally at the center of his movies, and The 
Marriage of Maria Braun [Die Ehe der Maria 
Braun, 1979), Lola (1981), and Veronika Voss {Die 





□ Hanna Schygulla and Margit Carstensen star in 
the beautifully visualized The Bitter Tears of Petra 
von Kant (1972), based on Fassbinder's own play 
about desire and power. 

Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, 1982) all portray 
women trying to survive in an ironically evoked 
Germany. A more flamboyant style is used in 
these recreations of an era than the static camera 
set-ups of the director's earlier films. Sexuality, as 
a means for the strong to manipulate the weak, is a 
frequent motif, whether he shows heterosexuality— 
EffiBriest (1974) and Lili Marleen (1981)— or 
homosexuality— The Bitter Tears of Petra von 
Kant [Die Bitteren Tranen der Petra von Kant, 
1972) and Fox [Faustrecht der Freiheit, 1975). 

WHAT TO WATCH 

The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971) 
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant ( 1 972) 
Fear Eats the Soul (1974) 
EffiBriest (1974) 
Fox (1975) 

Mother Kusters' Trip To Heaven (1975) 

In a Year of 13 Moons (1978) 

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1 979) 

Lola (1981) 

Veronika Voss (1982) 



ROBERT J. FLAHERTY 203 



Federico Fellini 



BORN 1920 DIED 1993 



NATIONALITY Italian 



CAREER 1950-1990 FILMS 19 



GENRE Comedy, Drama 



A magnificent ringmaster, Federico Fellini created 
a world that was much like a circus, peopled by 
grotesque or innocent clowns. 

For 1 2 years following his arrival in Rome from 
Rimini, Fellini wrote film scripts, many for Roberto 
Rossellini. Unlike Rossellini, however, Fellini was 
never a neorealist (see box, p. 286), and established 
his own mythology when he started directing. He 
said, "If the cinema didn't exist I might have become 
a circus director," and it could also be said that 
if the circus did not exist, he might not have become 
a film director. The circus as metaphor (and reality) 
plays an important role in his films. In La Strada 
(1954), Giulietta Masina (Fellini's wife) plays an 
innocent clown, mistreated by a traveling strongman 
(Anthony Quinn). The film, the first to win the 



Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 
made Fellini internationally known. He used 
Masina's Chaplinesque persona as the "innocent" 
prostitute in Nights ofCabiria [Le Notti di Cabiria, 
1957). Marcello Mastroianni plays Fellini's alter ego 
in La Dolce Vita (1960) and in 8V2 (1963), the title 
referring to the number of Fellini's films (including 
collaborations). This calculated self-portrait remains 
a compendium of every Fellini theme and stylistic 
device. An autobiographical aspect is also evident in 
/ Viteltoni (1953), Roma (1972), and Amarcord (1973). 

JwHAT TO WATCH 

/ Vitelloni (1953) 
La Strada (1954) 



La Dolce Vital 1960) 



872(1963) 



JuLietta of the Spirits 
[Giulietta degli Spiriti, 1965) 



Roma (1972) 
Amarcord [ 1973) 



Fellini's Casanova (1976) 




D Film poster, 1960 



Robert J. Flaherty 



BORN 1884 DIED 1951 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1922-1949 FILMS 6 



GENRE Documentary 



Considered by many to be the father of the 
documentary film, Robert J. Flaherty conveyed the 
importance of primitive societies and the balance 
between man and nature in his silent era films. 

Flaherty lived with the Inuit for 16 months in 
order to make his first full documentary feature, 
Nanook of the North (1 922). After the film's success, 
Paramount asked him to make a "Nanook" of the 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Nanook of the North (1922) 



Moana (1926) 



Man of Aran (1934) 



Louisiana Story (1948) 



South Seas, and he spent two years in the Samoan 
Islands making Moana (1926), filming an Eden 
where noble tribes hunted, fished, and cooked. 

Gainsborough Studios gave him free rein on 
Man of Aran (1 934), and he spent a full two years off 
the coast of Ireland living with the Aran islanders, 
documenting their harsh daily lives. The Land (1942), 
although incomplete, marked a departure for the 
director and he swapped exotic communities for 
more familiar landscapes. The film prepared the 
ground for Louisiana Story (1948), a poetic slice 
of Americana on the Louisiana bayou. 



□ Joseph Boudreaux 

is a young Cajun boy, 
with a pet raccoon, in 
Louisiana Story (1 948), 
which explores man's 
relationship with 
the environment. 




204 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



John Ford 




D Film poster, 1956 



BORN 1895 DIED 1973 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1917-1966 FILMS 123 



GENRE Western, Drama 



It was John Ford (Sean ALoysius O'Feeney) who, 
more than anyone else, gave the Western an epic 
stature. He created a personal, recognizable world 
that is an essential part of American culture. 

The Westerns made by Ford are romantic 
visions of the Old West. They are mythical views of 
America's past, where men are heroes, defending 
the lives of women and children in the community, 
fort, or homestead. The births, deaths, funerals, 
weddings, and dances are punctuated by songs 
and drunken brawls. It was from 1 939, with 
Stagecoach, that the true Ford Western emerged. 
His few ventures out of the US included two films 
set in Ireland: The Informer (1935), an atmospheric 
drama that takes place during the Irish Rebellion, 
and The Quiet Man (1 952), a romance. These, and 
How Green Was My Valley (1 941), set in Wales, 
won him Academy Awards for Best Director. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Stagecoach (1939) 
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) 



The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 



Fort Apache (1948) 



The Searchers (1956) 



The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1 962) 

In the 1930s, Ford used Henry Fonda's noble, youthful 
character to great effect as the epitome of American 
idealism, in Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and in The 
Grapes of Wrath (1940), for which he won another 
Oscar. During World War II, he made morale-boosting 
documentaries, then returned to Westerns. Among 
the best were My Darling Clementine (1946), starring 
Fonda, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), with 
John Wayne, the leading light of the "Ford Stock 
Company" (as the group of actors most regularly 
used by Ford was known). The Searchers (1956) was 
the culmination of Ford's frontier movies, and The 
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1 962) was the last 
Western he made with Wayne. Despite the substantial 
budget he had for it, he shot the film in black-and- 
white, probably to evoke a sense of nostalgia. 



□ Tom Hulce plays 
Mozart in Amadeus 
(1984); Forman's 
compelling portrait 
of the legendary 
composer is filled 
with rich details, 
powerful drama, and 
a wonderful score. 



Milos Forman 



BORN 1932 



NATIONALITY Czech (American) 



CAREER 1963- FILMS 14 



GENRE Biopic, Comedy, Costume drama 

The Czech films of Milos Forman reveal a gently 
mocking humor and a keen eye for the minutiae of 
human behavior, qualities he brought to bear on his 
American movies. 




f WHAT TO WATCH 

Loves of a Blonde (1965) 



The Firemen's Ball (1967) 



One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1 975) 



Amadeus 



Man on the Moon (1999) 



Using mostly non-professional actors, and a cinema 
verite technique (see box, p. 95), Forman gave Black 
Peter [CernyPetr, 1 964) and Loves of a Blonde [Lasky 
jedne plavovlasky, 1965), a comic freshness. The 
Firemen's Ball [Hon, ma panenko, 1967), a satire on 
petty bureaucracy, led to conflict with the Czech 
authorities who saw it as a political allegory. Before 
the Russian invasion, he left for the US, where he 
made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). It 
won five Oscars, including Best Film and Best 
Director. Amadeus (1984), a visual and aural treat 
shot mostly in the former Czechoslovakia, won 
eight Academy Awards. 




Abel Gance 



BORN 1£ 



DIED 1981 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1911-1971 FILMS 29 



GENRE Epic, Costume drama, Melodrama 

One of film's great pioneers before the arrival 
of sound, Abel Gance reached his artistic apogee 
with the epic masterpiece Napoleon (1927), in 
which he used camera techniques that were 
far ahead of their time. 

At the start of his career, Gance experimented 
with various techniques. In The Folly of Doctor 
Tube [La Folie Du Docteur Tube, 1 91 5), he used 
a subjective camera and distorting mirrors for 
effect. J'Accuse [I Accuse, 1919; remake 1938), 
Gance's pacifist statement in which a triangular 
relationship becomes a microcosm for the horrors 
of war, was actually shot during World War I with 
real soldiers under fire. It begins with infantrymen 
forming the letters of the title and ends with dead 
soldiers rising from their graves. This final scene 
is then contrasted, in a split-screen sequence, 
with a victory parade to the Arc de Triomphe. 
For The Wheel [La Roue, 1 923), an ambitious 



production, he used rapid montage techniques- 
long before Sergei Eisenstein's experiments with 
editing. These new methods were showcased in 
his most impressive movie, Napoleon (1927), 
a dazzling biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Sadly, Gance's romantic visual imagination 
was constrained with the coming of sound. 
Many of his later films are routine melodramas, 
although he sometimes used the same ideas 
and sequences from his silent movies, such as 
The Tenth Symphony [La Dixieme Symphonie, 1918). 
Poignant and paradoxical is the sequence in 
The Life and Loves of Beethoven [Un Grand Amour 
de Beethoven, 1 936) when the great composer 
loses his hearing, portrayed by silent shots of 
violins, birds, and bells. The loss of sound for 
Beethoven was as agonizing as the coming 
of sound was for Gance. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Tenth Symphony (1918) 



J'Accuse [/Accuse] (1919) 



77?e W/?ee/(1923) 



Napoleon (1927) 



The Life and Loves of Beethoven [ 1 936) 



205 




□ In the first version 

of JAccuse (1919), 
Gance's anti-war film, 
wounded soldiers are 
welcomed home from 
the World War I 
battlefields by the 
civilian population. 



206 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



Jean-Luc Godard 



Q Ferdinand (Jean- 
Paul Belmondo) 
takes a break after 
a bizarre car chase, 
one among a series 
of wild adventures he 
shares with Marianne 
(Anna Karina) in 
Pierrot Le Fou (1965). 



□ Anna Karina plays 
Natacha von Braun 
and Eddie Constantine 
plays Lemmy Caution, 
an American secret 
agent, in ALphaviUe 
(1965), a film set in a 
futuristic city and shot 
with minimal lighting. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



BORN 1930 



Breathless (1960) 



NATIONALITY French 



My Life to Live (1962) 



CAREER 1960- FILMS 42 



Contempt [Le Mepris, 1963) 



GENRE Drama, Political drama, Satire 



Band of Outsiders [Bande a Part, 1 964) 



Alpha ville (1965) 




Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1 967) 



Wee/cenc/(1967) 



Always striving to go beyond films into other arts 
and politics, Jean-Luc Godard has formulated a 
truly revolutionary film language free from the 
dominant bourgeois culture in the West. 

Breathless [A Bout de Souffle, 1960), Godard's 
first feature, established him as one of the stars 
of the French New Wave (see pp. 42-43). His second, 
The Little Soldier [Le Petit Soldat, 1 963), portrays 
an ambivalent view of the Algerian war. My Life to 



New Wave [Nouvelle Vague, 1990) 

In Praise of Love [Eloge de iAmour, 2001 ) 

Our Music [Notre Musique, 2004) 

Live [Vivresa Vie, 1962) uses a Brechtian device 
of episodes with texts, quotations, and interviews, 
giving it a documentary tone. Godard employs color 
symbolically in Pierrot le Fou (1965), a stunning 
study of violence and relationships. In Two or Three 
Things I Know About Her [Deux ou Trois Choses que 
Je sais d'Elle, 1967), "her" alludes to Paris, a city 
that has always inspired him. Weekend (1967) is a 
devastating critique on modern French society. 
Godard broke away from commercial films to shoot 
a series of cine-tracts in 16mm and video, but 
returned to more accessible filmmaking with 
Tout va Bien (1972). From 1980, a more mature 
Godard emerged, with his movies becoming 
contemplative, poetic essays on contemporary 
issues that challenged audiences 
to think differently. 






D.W. GRIFFITH « 207 




D.W. Griffith 



BORN 1875 DIED 1948 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1908-1931 FILMS 35 



GENRE Epic, Melodrama, Costume drama 

With his epic Civil War drama, The Birth of a Nation 
(1915), D.W. Griffith did much to convince the world 
that film is as valid an art form as any other. 

The son of a Confederate soldier, Griffith started 
directing at Biograph Studios in 1908. Biograph 
was the first studio to shoot a movie in Hollywood- 
Griffith's In Old California (1910). With Billy Bitzer 
(the photographer of nearly all his films), Griffith 
turned out hundreds of one- and two-reelers, 
learning his craft as he went along. By 191 1, he 
had used close-ups, changed camera set-ups 
within one scene, and developed cross-cutting. 
Despite its reactionary attitudes, The Birth of a 
Nation remains a remarkable film in which all the 
technical innovations of his early work reached 
maturity. In order to pacify those critics put off 
by the racist elements in the film, Griffith's next 
project was the epic Intolerance (1916), containing 



four separate stories to illustrate his theme. 
Throughout this period, the director struggled 
to free himself from studio control, and a result 
of this was United Artists, which he co-founded 
in 1919 with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, 
and Mary Pickford. 

He made some of his most endearing movies 
with the waiflike Lillian Gish— his favorite 
actress— notably Broken Blossoms (1919), True 
Heart Susie (1919), Way Down East (1920), and 
Orphans of the Storm (1921). However, due to his 
narrow views, and the emergence of new directors 
and of sound, Griffith lost his popular appeal and 
his influence. His first talkie, Abraham Lincoln 
(1930), failed and he led an obscure existence 
until his death in 1948. 

["what to watch 

The Birth of a Nation (1915) 



Intolerance (1916) 



True Heart Susie (1919) 



Broken Blossoms (1919) 



Way Down East (1920) 



Orphans of the Storm (1921) 



□ On the set of 

Intolerance (1916), 
Griffith, with loud hailer 
in hand, directs the cast 
of one of the film's four 
tales— the modern 
American story. 



EE? HUSTON 




□ Film poster, 1930 



208 a-z OF DIRECTORS 



Howard Hawks 



BORN 1896 DIED 1977 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1926-1970 FILMS 41 



GENRE Western, Comedy, Action 



□ Lauren Bacall plays 
Vivien and Humphrey 
Bogart stars as private 
detective Philip 
Marlowe in The Big 
Sleep (1946), a 
hard-boiled thriller 
adapted from Raymond 
Chandler's novel. 



Since Howard Hawks' assured narrative style 
and handling of most genres was not immediately 
obvious as "art," he was not appreciated as a true 
auteur and a candidate for Hollywood immortality 
until years after his death. 

Many of the director's own personal interests 
feature in his films. A pilot in World War I, he 
brought authenticity to his four films about flying: 
The Dawn Patrol (1930), Ceiling Zero (1936), Only 
Angels Have Wings (1939), and Air Force (1943). 
A former designer and race-car driver, he 
re-created the excitement of the track in The 
Crowd Roars (1932) and Red Line 7000 (1965). 
Energetic sportsmanship also inspired him to 
make Hatari! (1 962) and Man's Favorite Sport (1 964). 
Some of these films focus on the camaraderie of 
men who risk their lives, but it was the battle of the 





□ John Wayne, Hawks' favorite actor, plays 
Colonel Cord McNally, a Union Army officer who 
travels with his men to Texas in search of justice 
mRioLobolmO). 

sexes and gender role-swapping that preoccupied 
him in his screwball comedies Twentieth Century 
(1 934), Bringing Up Baby (1 938), His Girl Friday 
(1940), and later in / Was a Male War Bride (1949). 
Particularly remarkable was the sublime sexual 
interplay between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren 
Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944) and The Big 
Sleep (1946), and the stunning opening number 
of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Notable in 
Hawks' films is the pairing of John Wayne with 
Montgomery Clift in Red River (1 948), with Dean 
Martin in Rio Bravo (1 959), and with Robert 
Mitchum in El Dorado (1966). 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Scarf ace (1932) 
Twentieth Century ( 1 934) 



Bringing Up Baby (1938) 



Only Angels Have Wings (1939) 



His Girl Friday (1940) 



To Have and Have Not (1 944) 



The Big Sleep (1946) 
Red River (1948) 



Rio Bravo (1959) 



WERNER HERZOG 209 




Werner Herzog 



BORN 1942 



NATIONALITY German 



CAREER 1967- FILMS 25 



GENRE Epic, Documentary 



Known for going to any Lengths to make a film, 
Werner Herzog (Werner Stipetic) is drawn to 
bizarre characters and situations set in stunningly 
photographed exotic surroundings. 

Herzog's first feature, Signs of Life [Lebenszeichen, 
1968), takes place during World War II on a Greek 
island where a German soldier recovering from 
wounds refuses to obey orders. This theme 
foreshadowed later preoccupations with outsiders 
refusing or unable to conform to society. Fata 
Morgana (1971), shot in the desolate Sahara desert, 
is an "outsider" film par excellence, while Even 
Dwarfs Started Small [Auch Zwerge haben klein 
angefangen, 1970), set on an island populated 
by dwarfs, depicts the problematic nature of the 
liberation of the spirit. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser 
[Jeder fur sich und Gott gegen alle, 1974), about a 
wild boy who appeared from nowhere in the early 
19th century, also appealed to Herzog's fascination 
with social misfits. His greatest success was 



Aguirre, Wrath of God [Aguirre, derZorn Gottes, 

1972). Shot in the Peruvian Andes, it was the first 
of several films about obsessive heroes played by 
schizophrenic Klaus Kinski. The odd relationship 
between Kinski and Herzog became the subject 
of the director's documentary, My Best Fiend [Mein 
UebsterFeind, 1999), and Fitzcarraldo (1982) is about 
a turbulent trip by Kinski and Herzog into more 
untamed regions, this time the Amazonian jungle, 
where Brian, the main character, is determined 
to build an opera house. "If I should abandon this 
film," Herzog said when conditions became 
difficult, "I should be a man without dreams... 
I live my life or end my life with this project." 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Signs of Life (1967) 
Fata Morgana (1971) 



Aguirre, Wrath of God ( 1 972) 



The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser ( 1 974) 



Fitzcarraldo (1982) 



My Best Fiend (1999) 



Grizzly Man (2005) 

Encounters at the End of the World (2007) 

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call— New Orleans (2009) 



□ In Fitzcarraldo (1982), 
the manual hauling of 
a 320-ton steamship 
over steep hills in the 
Peruvian jungle was 
accomplished without 
special effects, and 
is one of film's most 
astonishing scenes. 




D Film poster, 1979 




□ Paul Newman 

(second from Left) 
discusses direction 
with Alfred Hitchcock 
(second from right) 
on the set of Torn 
Curtain (1966). 



Alfred Hitchcock 



BORN 1£ 



DIED 1S 



NATIONALITY British 



CAREER 1926-1976 FILMS 56 



GENRE Thriller, Horror, Film noir 



For decades, Alfred Hitchcock was the oniy film 
director whose name and face were as famous 
as those of a film star. "Hitch" was dubbed the 
"Master of Suspense," putting his own unique 
stamp on the thriller genre. 

Hitchcock entered the film industry in 1920 as a 
designer of silent-film titles, rising to art director, 
scriptwriter, and assistant director. He directed nine 
silent films, including The Lodger (1 927), in which 
he first explored his favorite theme of the innocent 
in danger. The movie marked his first appearance in 
front of the camera in a cameo, which became a 
feature of all his subsequent films. 

The lure of Hollywood 

In 1929, while Blackmail was in production, sound 
was introduced to film. The 30-year-old Hitchcock 
quickly demonstrated his understanding of this 
new technology. At one point in the film, he created 
a sound montage in which the word "knife" echoes 
over and over again in the guilty girl's mind. A 
number of superb comedy-thrillers followed, 
such as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1 934) and 



The Lady Vanishes (1938). In 1940, Producer David 
0. Selznick invited him to Hollywood to direct a 
movie based on Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca. 
Hitchcock's first American film had a British cast 
headed by Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. 
Rebecca (1 940) was a triumph, winning the Oscar for 
Best Picture and launching his long career in the US. 

Psychology, plot, and pursuit 

Hitchcock claimed not to care about the morality, 
subject, or message of his films, but only the 
manner in which the story was told. The obvious 
Catholicism in movies such as / Confess (1953) and 
the blatant psychology of Spellbound (1 945), Psycho 
(1960), and Mamie (1964) were merely plot devices. 

The pleasure of the director's films lies 
elsewhere— for example, in the picaresque pursuit 
of Saboteur (1942), in which a man must prove his 
innocence while being chased by both police and 
criminals. Then there's the underlying sense of 
menace that emanates from unexpected places, 
evident in The Birds (1963). Hitchcock also had 
the remarkable ability to surprise his audiences. 
In Psycho, for example, he audaciously kills off his 
leading lady (Janet Leigh) halfway through the film. 

He demonstrated an extravagant sense of location, 
as shown with the shooting that coincides with 
a clash of cymbals during a concert in The Man 
Who Knew Too Much (1 934 and 1 956); the climactic 
chase on Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest 
(1959); and the strangulation in London's Covent 
Garden market in Frenzy (1972). From 1956 to 1966, 
all Hitchcock's films were set to Bernard Herrmann's 
distinctive pulsating music, particularly effective in 
Vertigo (1958), which many consider his masterpiece. 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

The 39 Steps (1935) 
The Lady Vanishes (1938) 
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 
Strangers on a Train (1951) 
Rear Window [miA 
Vertigo (1958) 
North by Northwest (1959) 
Psycho (1960) 
The Birds (1963) 
Marnie (1964) 



JOHN HUSTON 211 



John Huston 



BORN 1906 DIED 1987 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1941-1987 FILMS 37 



GENRE Various 



The films of John Huston express his wide-ranging, 
typically masculine interests, but beneath the 
tough exterior, a tenderness and a romantic 
idealism is revealed. 

Son of actor Walter Huston and father of Anjelica 
and Danny— both actors too— John Huston led a 
varied life as painter, boxer, horseman, hunter, 
actor, and writer, before becoming a director. The 
Maltese Falcon (1 941 ), starring his favorite actor 
Humphrey Bogart, was his assured debut and is 
widely considered the first film noir. He directed 
his father and Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra 
Madre (1948), a saga of human greed. Greed is also 
the theme of Key Largo (1948), with Bogart and 
Lauren Bacall, and of Beat the Devil (1953), which 
parodies The Maltese Falcon and Bogart's persona. 
Most of his heroes are fiercely independent loners, 
such as Toulouse-Lautrec [Moulin Rouge, 1 952), 
Captain Ahab {Moby Dick, 1956), Freud (in the 1962 
film of the same name), the defeated boxers in Fat 
City (1972), and the preacher in Wise Blood (1 979). 



The Misfits (1961 ), starring Clark Gable, Montgomery 
Clift, and Marilyn Monroe among others, is a film 
about losers. Fatalism and irony pervade Huston's 
best movies, which are rich in character and plot 
and told in an incisive narrative style— one of the 
best examples being The Asphalt Jungle (1950). 
He made two excursions into the African jungle 
with The African Queen (1951), starring the unlikely 
pairing of Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, and 
The Roots of Heaven (1958), a film about doomed 
elephants. Huston's final film, The Dead (1987), 
based on a short story by James Joyce and filmed 
in Ireland where the director had made his home, 
was a poignant valediction. 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

The Maltese Falcon (1941) 



The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1 948) 
Key Largo (1948) 



The Asphalt Jungle (1950) 



The African Queen (1951) 



Beat the Devil (1953) 



The Misfits (1961) 



Reflections in a Golden Eye (1 967) 



Fat City [ 1972) 



777eDeac/(1987) 





□ Film poster, 1950 



□ Tim Holt, Walter 
Huston, and Humphrey 
Bogart (clockwise from 
left) are prospectors 
united by greed in The 
Treasure of the Sierra 



212 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



Miklos Jancso 



BORN 1921 



NATIONALITY Hungarian 



CAREER 1958- FILMS 27 



In Beloved Electra 

(1 974-), Jancso's take on 
the Greek myth, Electra 
(Mari Torocsik) takes 
part in a ritual with 
women in white, 
while awaiting her 
brother's return. 



GENRE Political drama 



The films of Miklos Jancso, from the mid-1960s 
to the mid-1 970s, are brilliantly choreographed 
dramas. Jancso traces the fight for Hungarian 
independence and socialism using emblems 
and symbolism. 




Jancso's very personal style blossomed in The 
Round-Up [Szegenylegenyek, 1966). This film 
contains many of the devices and themes that 
he has used in his later movies. Set on a desolate 
plain in Hungary, some time after the collapse 
of the 1948 revolution against the Austrian rule, 
The Round-Up powerfully depicts the conflict 
between the political oppressor and the oppressed. 
Jancso's films are subtly choreographed, with 
the camera fluidly tracking the movements of 
characters, emphasizing their relationship to 
the landscape. Color, especially red, is used 
symbolically in The Confrontation [Fenyes Szelek, 
1 969), Agnus Dei [Egi Barany, 1 971 ), and Red 
Psalm [Meg KeraNep, 1 972). These films are 
hymns of despair as well as celebrations of 
freedom, illustrated by Jancso's masterful 
long takes and extended sequence shots. 

[what to watch 

My Way Home (1965) 



The Round-Up []966] 



The Red and the White (19 68) 



The Confrontation (1969) 



Agnus Dei (1971) 



Red Psalm (1972) 



Beloved Electra (1974) 




AMt)Um — ■ 



□ Film poster, 1955 



Elia Kazan 



BORN 1909 DIED 2003 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1945-2003 FILMS 19 



GENRE Drama, Cult 



All of Elia Kazan's films have strong social themes, 
a keen sense of location, and superb performances. 
Although Kazan betrayed his friends at the McCarthy 
hearings in 1952 (see p. 31), his reputation as one of 
the finest directors in the US has never wavered. 

Having worked in the theater and at the Actors 
Studio, Kazan had great respect for actors, allowing 
them to develop their work during shooting. This 
trust inspired some great performances, including 
those by Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954) 
and Jo Van Fleet in Wild River (1960). Kazan made 



Brando a star with A Streetcar Named Desire 
(1951), "discovered" James Dean [East of Eden, 
1955), and gave debut screen roles to Jack Palance 
[Panic in the Streets, 1 950), Lee Remick [A Face in 
the Crowd, 1957), and Warren Beatty [Splendor 
in the Grass, 1 961 ). He worked closely with 
Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire 
and Baby Doll (1956), and with John Steinbeck in 
Viva Zapata (1 952) and East of Eden. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 



On the Waterfront (1954) 



East of Eden (1955) 



A Face in the Crowd (1 957) 



Wild River [I960] 



Splendor in the Grass (1961) 



Abbas Kiarostami 



BORN 1940 



NATIONALITY Iranian 



CAREER 1974- FILMS 19 



GENRE Drama 



The fact that Iranian film is considered one 
of the best in the world is partly due to Abbas 
Kiarostami, whose films play brilliantly with 
audiences' perceptions of film. 

Abbas Kiarostami had been making films for 
almost two decades before Where is the Friend's 
Home? {Khane-ye Doust Kodjast?, 1987), a gently 
humorous film on a child's loyalty, became an 
international success. And Life Goes On... [Zendegi 
va DigarHich, 1992) follows a film director, after 
an earthquake, searching for the children who 
featured in one of his films. Through the Olive Trees 
[lire Darakhatan Zeyton, 1994), written and directed 
by Kiarostami, is about the filming of And Life Goes 
On... Kiarostami's trademark— people driving over 
long distances— reaches perfection in Taste of 
Cherry [Ta'm e Guilass, 1997). The film shows a 
middle-aged man bent on suicide, who drives up 




and down asking passers-by to bury him in a grave 
he has already dug. The car motif recurs in Ten 
(2002), which follows ten conversations that take 
place in a car being driven through Tehran's streets. 
Kiarostami has said, "I don't invent material. I just 
watch and take it from the daily life of people around 
me." However, his realism is carefully constructed. 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

Where is the Friend's Home? (1 987) 
And Life Goes On... (1992) 



Through the Olive Trees (1 994) 



Taste of Cherry (1997) 



The Wind Will Carry Us 

[Bad Ma Ra Khahad Bord, 1 999) 

Ten (2002) 



□ Set in Siah Dareh, a 

remote Kurdish village, 
The Wind Will Carry Us 
(1999) is a parable about 
outsiders who pretend 
to search for a treasure 
in the village cemetery. 



Krzysztof Kieslowski 

BORN 1941 DIED 1996 
NATIONALITY Polish 
CAREER 1976-1993 FILMS 9 
GENRE Drama 

Through his rather sardonic examinations of the 
conflict between the state and its citizens, Krzysztof 
Kieslowski has come to represent "film of moral 
unrest" in Poland. 

Politically active in the struggle for a more 
democratic Poland, Kieslowski expresses many 
of his ideas obliquely in his features. Nevertheless, 
his ironic humanism was not appreciated by the 
authorities and two of his films were suppressed: 
Blind Chance [Przypadek, made in 1981), which 
examines the effect of arbitrary fate on the life of 
a student; and No End [Bez Konca, made in 1 985), 
which shows the ghost of a dead lawyer watching 
his family survive without him. It was on their release 



in 1 986, followed by two shorts made as part of a 
TV series, The Decalogue [Dekalog, 1989-90), that 
he was extolled abroad. A Short Film About Killing 
[Krotki Film o Zabijaniu, 1 988) is a powerful cry 
against capital punishment. In A Short Film About 
Love [Krotki Film o Milosci, 1988), a 19-year-old boy 
is obsessed with a woman in the apartment facing 
his own. With the fall of communism, Kieslowski 
chose to work in France where he directed The 
Double Life of Veronique [La Double Vie de Veronique, 
1991) and the Three Colors trilogy (1993-94). 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Blind Chance (1981) 



A Short Film About Killing [ 1 988) 



A Short Film About Love [ 1 988) 



The Double Life of Veronique (1 991 ) 



Three Colors: Blue (1993) 



Three Colors: White (1994) 



Three Colors: Red (1 99 4) 



□ Film poster, 1993 




214 



Malcolm McDowell 

plays Alex, head of 
a violent teenage 
gang in A Clockwork 
Orange (1971), Stanley 
Kubrick's bleak view 
of a futuristic Britain. 




■ 



Stanley Kubrick 



BORN 1928 DIED 1999 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1953-1999 FILMS 13 



GENRE Various 



The scrupulous care with which he chose his 
subjects, his slow method of working, and 
his reclusive personality meant that all of 
Stanley Kubrick's films were eagerly awaited. 



□ Kirk Douglas 

stars in the epic 
Spartacus (1960), in 
which a slave leads 
a revolt against the 
Roman empire. 




Deeply pessimistic and claustrophobic, Kubrick's 
films deal brilliantly with technical and textual 
complexities. Lolita (1962), based on Vladimir 
Nabokov's novel about a pedophile, was an acerbic 
comedy full of "perverse passion." Kubrick's 
anti-militarism first revealed itself in the bitterly 
ironic and moving World War I drama Paths of 
Glory (1 957) and continued in the black comedy 
Dr. Strangelove (1964). In Full Metal Jacket (1987), 
he powerfully depicts the brutal military training 
for a pointless war (Vietnam). His futuristic movies 
develop the theme of dehumanization. In 2001: 
A Space Odyssey (1 968), man is merely a machine 
controlled by a machine, while in A Clockwork 
Orange (1971) alienated youths are brainwashed 
into conformity. Madness is manifest in The Shining 
(1 980), and sexual fantasies are explored in 
his final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1 999). In contrast, 
Barry Lyndon (1975), inspired by the English 
landscape and portrait paintings of the 18th 
century, lovingly recreates the sensibilities 
of the time. 

[what to watch 

Paths of Glory (1957) 



Lolita (1962) 



Dr. Strangelove (1964) 



2001: A Space Odyssey ( 1 968) 



A Clockwork Orange (1 971 ) 



Barry Lyndon (1975) 



Full MetalJacket (1987) 



AKIRA KUROSAWA I 215 



Akira Kurosawa 



BORN 1912 DIED 1998 



NATIONALITY Japanese 



CAREER 1943-1993 FILMS 31 



GENRE Epic 



The best-known Japanese director in the West, Akira 
Kurosawa has achieved an international popularity. 
Revered by other filmmakers, his films remain 
faithful to the Japanese tradition, yet at the same 
time bear a strong similarity to American movies. 

There has seldom been more cross-fertilization 
in film than in the work of Kurosawa. Three of his 
films have been adapted easily into Hollywood 
Westerns. Rashomon (1950), the first Japanese 
film to be shown widely in the West, became 
The Outrage (1 964); Seven Samurai [Shichinin 




□ In The Hidden 
Fortress (1958), two 
greedy peasants agree 
to help a princess cross 
enemy territory in their 
desire for gold. 



| WHAT TO WATCH 

Rashomon (1950) 



To Live (1952) 



Seven Samurai ( 1 954) 



Throne of Blood [Kumonosu Jo, 1957) 



The Hidden Fortress (1958) 
The Bodyguard (1961) 



Sanjuro (1962) 



DersuUzala (1975) 



Kagemusha (1980) 



flan (1985) 



no Samurai, 1954) was turned into The Magnificent 
Seven (1960); and The Bodyguard [Yojimbo, 1961) 
into A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Some of his features 
pay homage to American film, while others have 
literary sources: Hakuchi (1951) is based on Fyodor 
Dostoevsky's The Idiot; Donzoko (1957) on Maxim 
Gorky's The Lower Depths; and Kumonosu Jo (1957) 
and Ran (1985) on William Shakespeare's Macbeth 
and King Lear respectively. The films make for easy 
viewing, although tragic contemporary tales like 
To Live [Ikiru, 1952), about a man dying of cancer, 
and / Live in Fear [I kimono no Kiroku, 1 955), a family 
drama, delve much deeper. Kurosawa's flamboyant 
samurai adventures mix comedy and rich imagery, 
as in films such as The Hidden Fortress [Kakushi- 
toride no San-akunin, 1958), and Sanjuro [Tsubaki 
Sanjuro, 1962). Widescreen and color are used 
magnificently to frame the epic grandeur of Dersu 
Uzala (1975), as well as Kagemusha (1980) and 
Ran (1985), with their glorious red sunsets, vivid 
rainbows, and multicolored flags. 



In this magnificent 
battle scene in Ran 

(1985), Kurosawa's 
cinematic ode to 
Shakespeare's King 
Lear, a warlord's lack 
of judgment leads to 
death and disaster. 




A-Z OF DIRECTORS 




□ Film poster, 1928 



Fritz Lang 



BORN 1890 DIED 1976 



NATIONALITY German-American 



CAREER 1919-1960 FILMS 41 



GENRE Film noir 



Looking at the world with a grim detachment and 
a strong moral sense, Fritz Lang worked through 
two career phases: in Germany (1919 to 1932) and 
Hollywood (1936 to 1956). 

Lang's reputation grew in Germany with serials 
such as Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler [Dr. Mabuse, der 
Spieler, 1922). Die Nibelungen (1924), a German saga 
in two parts, makes impressive use of stylized studio 
scenery, while the huge sets of Metropolis (1927) 
represent a futuristic city-factory. In his first film 
with sound, M (1931), Lang made an ironic social 
comment on justice, capital punishment, and mob 
rule— themes he would take up again in his first 
American film, Fury (1936). Hangmen Also D/e/(1943) 
was a fictionalized account of the assassination of 
Gestapo leader Reinhard Heydrich, in which he 
projected increasing public outrage against Nazi 



atrocities. Having fled Nazi Germany, he had to deal 
with dictatorial producers in Hollywood. MGM tacked 
on a happy ending to Fury and Warner Bros, did the 
same to Cloak and Dagger (1 946). Yet he managed 
to make splendidly dark films of murder, revenge, 
and seduction, such as The Woman in the Window 
(1944) and Scarlet Street (1945); Clash by Night 
(1952), dealing with post-war dissipation; The Big 
Heat (1953) and Human Desire (1954), both film 
noirs; and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1 922) 
Metropolis (1927) 



MM931) 



Fury (1936) 



Hangmen Also Die/ (1943) 



The Woman in the Window (1 944) 



Scarlet Street (1945) 



Clash by Night (1952) 



The Big Heat [1953] 



Human Desire (1954) 




□ Judy Davis as Adela 
Quested and Dr. Aziz 
(Victor Banerjee) ride 
on an elephant, on 
a fateful visit to the 
Malabar caves in A 
Passage to India (1984). 



David Lean 



BORN 1908 DIED 1991 



NATIONALITY British 



CAREER 1942-1984 FILMS U 



GENRE Epic, Costume drama 



After making several films in the 1940s, epitomizing 
the best of British film, David Lean made five 
international blockbusters. Since then, he became 
associated with filmmaking on a grand scale. 

Lean co-directed his first film, In Which We Serve 
(1942), with Noel Coward, before going on to make 
three more films with him: This Happy Breed (19 '44), 
Blithe Spirit (1 945), and Brief Encounter (1 945). 
The last, based on a one-act play by Coward (who 
wrote the screenplay) is one of the most telling 
juxtapositions of the romantic and the mundane 
in film. The script (balancing passionate narration 
with clipped dialogue), the performances of Trevor 
Howard and Celia Johnson, and the fluid camerawork 
make it one of Lean's greatest films. His fine screen 



adaptations of Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 
(1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), feature brilliant 
photography (by Guy Green), design, and acting. 
Lean's expertise can be seen in his three films with 
Ann Todd, especially The Sound Barrier (1952). His 
films on a larger scale— The Bridge on the River Kwai 
(1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago 
(1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970), and A Passage to 
India (1 984)— won a total of 23 Academy Awards. 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



In Which We Serve (1942) 
Brief Encounter []9Ab) 



Great Expectations (1 946) 



Oliver Twist (1948) 



Hobson's Choice (1954) 



The Bridge on the River Kwai ( 1 957) 



Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 
Doctor Zhivago (1965) 



A Passage to India (1984) 




Spike Lee 



BORN 1957 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1983- FILMS 20 



GENRE Political drama 



The most significant turning point in African- 
American film was the emergence of Spike Lee, 
whose movies explore a hitherto unknown range 
of themes from a black perspective. 

It was black directors like Melvin Van Peebles, 
Gordon Parks, and Sidney Poitier in the 1970s 
who paved the way for Lee in the following 
decade. However, while their films cater mainly 
to black audiences, Lee's movies appeal to a wider 
spectrum of society, tackling potentially explosive 
subjects such as interracial sexual relations and 
drugs [Jungle Fever, 1991), black music [Mo' Better 
Blues, 1990), and black politics {Malcolm X, 1992), in 
mainstream film. Lee's first feature, She's Gotta 



Have It (1 986), was influenced by the French New 
Wave directors, and is about a sexually liberated 
young woman's relationship with three lovers. 
Costing only $1 70,000, it was a huge box office 
success. Lee's preoccupation with cultural identity 
was manifest in Do the Right Thing (1989), a film 
set in an Italian pizza parlor on a sweltering day 
in Brooklyn, where racial tensions are about to 
explode. In one controversial scene, characters 
shout racial and ethnic epithets directly to the 
camera. With a radical approach, a brilliantly 
constructed set, complex sound design, and vibrant 
cinematography, Lee showed full mastery of the 
medium. The film's success allowed him to direct 
Malcolm X after he condemned Warner Bros.' initial 
decision to hire Norman Jewison for the job. This 
film, about the iconic African-American political 
activist, proved that Lee could fuse a popular form 
with significant social commentary on a large scale. 



>4 



WHAT TO WATCH 



She's Gotta Have It (1986) 



Do the Right Thing (1989) 



Jungle Fever (1 991 ) 



Malcolm X (1992) 



Crooklyn (1994) 



Clockers (1995) 




217 




□ In Jungle Fever 

(1991), Lee's searing 
study of attitudes 
to race and the drug 
culture, Halle Berry 
makes her big-screen 
debut in the role of 
a crack addict. 



Q Denzel Washington 

shone in his Oscar- 
nominated role in 
Malcolm X (1992), 
Lee's biopic on 
the controversial 
nationalist leader. 



218 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ EmilJannings 

plays Louis XV and Pola 
Negri plays the king's 
mistress in Madame 
Dubarry (191 9)— a 
film that launched 
both the director and 
actress into stardom. 





Ernst Lubitsch 



BORN 1892 DIED 1947 



NATIONALITY German (American) 



CAREER 1918-1947 FILMS 47 



GENRE Comedy 



D Film poster, 1937 



Bringing continental manners and hedonism into 
puritan America, Ernst Lubitsch established his own 
style of elegance, wit, incisiveness, and cynicism, 
perfectly suited to the varied themes he worked 
on, which came to be called the "Lubitsch Touch." 

Lubitsch's features in Germany include a 
number of ironic historical romances such as 
Madame Dubarry (1919) with Pola Negri. His 
Hollywood career began with scintillating silent 
comedies, including Lady Windermere's Fan (1925). 
His musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette 
McDonald, as well as comedies Trouble in Paradise 
(1932) and Design for Living (1933), treated the 
audience as sophisticates— rare in commercial 
movies. At the end of the 1930s, Lubitsch came 



up with a number of very entertaining romantic 
comedies: Angel (1937), starring a sparkling 
Marlene Dietrich; Ninotchka (1939), a witty tale 
of how a stern Russian commisar (Greta Garbo) 
is seduced by wicked, capitalist ways; and 
The Shop Around the Corner (1940), a charming 
comedy of errors starring James Stewart. Under 
the shadow of war, Lubitsch came up with one 
of Hollywood's great comedies, To Be or Not to 
Be (1942), which took on the Nazi occupation 
of Poland— of all subjects. 

JwHAT TO WATCH 

Trouble in Paradise (1 932) 



Design for Living (1933) 



The Merry Widow (1934) 



Desire (1936) 



Angel 11937) 



Ninotchka (1939) 



The Shop Around the Corner [ 1 940) 



To Be or Not to Be (1942) 



LOUIS MALLE 219 



David Lynch 



BORN 1946 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1977- FILMS 11 



GENRE Horror, Thriller 



Over the decades, David Lynch has accumulated 
a huge following of those willing to enter his 
bizarre and labyrinthine dream world. 

His first feature, Eraserhead (1977) was shot 
in black-and-white, almost entirely at night. A 
disturbing nightmare of a film, ripped from the womb 
of surrealist art and German expressionist (see box, 
p. 259) film, it appeals equally to intellectuals 
and horror-movie fans, like much of his work. The 
Elephant Man (1980), a far more conventional film, 
evokes pity for the hideously deformed Victorian 
man, John Merrick (played by John Hurt, who 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Eraserhead (1977) 



The Elephant Man (1980) 
Blue Velvet (1986) 



Twin Peaks [1992] 



The Straight Story (1999) 



Mulholland Drive (2001) 



wears layers of make-up). Perhaps his 
most representative film is Blue Velvet 
(1986), which contains elements of satire, 
crime, and horror— features that are even 
more evident in the cryptic psychological 
thriller Mulholland Drive (2001). Lynch's 
most uncharacteristic film is The Straight 
Story (1 999), which traces the slow 
progress of a man traveling hundreds 
of miles on a lawnmower. 



□ Film poster, 1977 



Louis Malle 



BORN 1932 DIED 1995 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1956-1994 FILMS 21 



GENRE Drama 



Moving from France to the US with ease, Louis 
Malle was a "will-o'-the-wisp" director, like the 
title of one of his films, Le Feu Follet (1 963). He 
specialized in difficult or taboo subjects. "I'm 
always interested in exposing a theme, a character, 
or situation which seems to be unacceptable," 
Malle explained. 

His subjects included adultery, in The Lovers 
[LesAmants, 1958); incest, in Murmur of the Heart 
{Le Souffle auCoeur, 1971); and child prostitution, 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Lovers (1958) 



Murmur of the Heart (1971) 



Lacombe Lucien (1 974) 



Pretty Baby (1978) 



Atlantic City (1980) 



Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) 



in Pretty Baby (1978). In My Dinner with Andre (1981), 
he filmed 1 1 minutes of two people having a dinner 
conversation. Lacombe Lucien (1 974) was one of the 
first French films to reveal some of the least savory 
aspects of life in France under the Nazi occupation- 
its "hero" is a young laborer who becomes a Nazi 
collaborator. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1 987) is the 
culmination of Malle 's themes— French collaboration 
with the Nazis, close mother-son relationships, 
and an unsentimental view of children. 



□ Gaspard Manesse 

and Raphael Fejto star 
in Au Revoir Les Enfants 
(1987), based on Malle s 
own childhood. 





220 A Z OF DIRECTORS 




Q Film poster, 1959 



□ Gambler Sky 
Masterson (Marlon 
Brando) "corrupts" 
Save-a-Soul missionary 
Sarah Brown (Jean 
Simmons) in the 
stylish musical Guys 
and Dolls (1955). 



Joseph L. Mankiewicz 

BORN 1909 DIED 1993 
NATIONALITY American 
CAREER 1946-1972 FILMS 20 

GENRE Comedy, Drama 

People Will Talk (1951) is one of the most 
appropriate titles in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 
filmography— the screen was mostly a vehicle 
for his literate, witty, and satirical screenplays. 

Although Mankiewicz's films are dialogue-driven, 
they are not filmed plays. They have an elegant 
visual style, and many experiment with narrative 
form, the story being told from different points of 
view with an effective use of flashbacks. A Letter 
to Three Wives (1949) is a cleverly constructed tale 
set in the suburban US where three wives, Deborah 
(Jeanne Crain), Lora (Linda Darnell), and Rita (Ann 
Sothern) wonder which one of their husbands is 
running away with the local vamp. The terse comedy 
is derived as much from the dialogue and acting as 
the meticulously observed milieu. All About Eve 
(1950), a poison-pen letter to the theatrical world 



of New York, is a high comedy, with Bette Davis 
playing the role of the bitching, faded idol Margo 
Channing to the full. The Barefoot Contessa (1954) 
is equally acerbic about the film industry. An 
absorbing espionage tale, 5 Fingers (1952) is 
told in a semi-documentary style. It stars James 
Mason, who also made a fine Brutus to Marlon 
Brando's powerful Mark Antony in Julius Caesar 
(1953), an intelligent adaptation of Shakespeare 
that avoids the temptation toward Hollywood 
spectacle— unlike the $45-million Cleopatra (1963). 
Brando was also excellent in Guys and Dolls (1955), 
both his and Mankiewicz's only musical. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Ghost and Mrs. Muir [ 1 947) 



A Letter to Three Wives (1 949) 



All About Eve WO) 



5 Fingers (1952) 



Julius Caesar (1953) 



The Barefoot Contessa (1954) 



Guys and Dolls (1955) 
Suddenly, Last Summer ( 1 959) 




JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE 221 



Leo McCarey 



BORN 18 



DIED 1969 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1929-1961 FILMS 23 



GENRE Comedy, Drama 



There were three phases to Leo McCarey 's brilliant 
career as a film director: Laurel and Hardy shorts, 
zany wisecracking comedies, and sentimental 
romantic comedies. 

Among the Laurel and Hardy shorts that Leo 
McCarey directed from 1927 to 1931 is Putting 
Pants on Philip (1 927), the first film the comedians 
formally made together as a duo. Between 1 932 
and 1937, McCarey directed comedians Eddie 
Cantor [The Kid From Spain, 1932), W.C. Fields 
{Six of a Kind, 1934), the Marx brothers [Duck Soup, 
1933), and Harold Lloyd [The Milky Way, 1936), as 
well as Cary Grant in The Awful Truth (1937), one of 
the best screwball comedies ever made. The third 
phase of McCarey 's career, after 1937, includes 
Love Affair (1939), which he remade as An Affair 
to Remember (1 957), a shipboard romance. Both 
Going My Way (1 944) and The Bells of St. Mary's 
(1945), were handled with enough manipulative 
skill to persuade even an atheist to ponder. 




I WHAT TO WATCH 

Duck Soup (1933) 



Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) 



Make Way for Tomorrow ( 1 937) 



The Awful Truth 11937) 



Love Affair (1939) 



Going My Way (1944) 

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) 



An Affair to Remember ( 1 957) 



□ Cary Grant stars 
as Nickie, a wealthy 
bachelor who falls 
in love with Terry 
(Deborah Kerr), 
an ex-nightclub 
singer, during a sea 
voyage in An Affair 
to Remember (1957). 



Jean-Pierre Melville 

BORN 1917 DIED 1973 
NATIONALITY French 

CAREER 1948-1972 FILMS 12 

GENRE Gangster, Film noir 

It was his enthusiasm for the works of writer 
Herman Melville that made Jean-Pierre Grumbach 
change his name. However, it was the American 
gangster novel and film noir that were the greatest 
influences on his movies, which, in turn, were to 
inspire several independent American directors. 

Bob the Gambler [Bob le Flambeur, 1 956) and Two 
Men in Manhattan [Deux Hommes dans Manhattan, 
1959), Melville's first independent low-budget 
films, were shot on location in Paris and New York, 
respectively. His gritty, freewheeling style brought 
something new to the crime thriller, and the eight 



films he made inhabit a world of sleazy bars, hotels, 
and nightclubs where double-crossing and killing 
are the norm. The Samurai [Le Samourai, 1967) 
follows the last day of a cold-blooded killer (Alain 
Delon) with a code of honor. Melville was in the 
French Resistance and three of his films, including 
the tragic Army of Shadows [LArmee des Ombres, 
1969), are about France under occupation. 



E 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Strange Ones 
[LesEnfants Terribles, 1950) 



Bob the Gambler (1956) 



Doulos: The Finger Man [Le Doulos, 1962) 
Magnet of Doom [LAine des Ferchaux, 1 963) 
Second Breath [Le Deuxieme Souffle, 1 966) 
The Samurai (19 '67) 
Army of Shadows (1969) 




□ In Second Breath 

[Le Deuxieme Souffle, 

1966), prison escapee 
Gustave (Lino Ventura) 
gets involved in one 
last robbery. 



A Z OF DIRECTORS 



Vincente Minnelli 



□ Film poster, 1958 



□ Judy Garland sings 
7"/?e Trolley Song with 
Tom Drake and a host 
of others in Meet Me 
in St. Louis (1944)— 
an early Technicolor 
extravaganza. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



BORN 1910 DIED 1S 



Meet Me in St. Louis (1 944) 



NATIONALITY American 



The Pirate [IMS] 



CAREER 1942-1976 FILMS 33 



An American in Paris (1951) 



GENRE Musical, Melodrama 



The Bad and the Beautiful ( 1 953) 



The world of Vincente Minnelli is one of 
beauty, fantasy, brilliant colors, stylish 
set designs, and elaborate costumes, in 
which Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Gene 
Kelly, Cyd Charisse, and Leslie Caron 
dance and sing. 

Seven of the screen's finest musicals 
were made by the director for MGM. 
His debut was the ground-breaking 
African -American musical Cabin in the 
Sky (1 943), a film that showcased many of the era's 
legendary performers. He used Technicolor for the 
first time in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), a touching 
portrayal of family life in 1903. The movie highlights 
the songs of a radiant Judy Garland (who married 
Minnelli in 1945). The Pirate (1948) has stylized 
theatrical settings, but the performances by 
Garland and Gene Kelly prevent the film from 



The Band Wagon (1953) 



Lust for Life (1956) 



G/g/(1958) 



Some Came Running (1959) 



being "stagey." Kelly (with Leslie Caron) shines 
in An American in Paris (1951), which ends with 
an audacious 18-minute ballet. The Band Wagon 
(1953), with Astaire in his finest screen role, 
includes a number that sums up Minnelli's 
musicals: That's Entertainment. Of the later 
CinemaScope movies, only Gigi (1 958) is in the 
same league. Two of Minnelli's "straight" films, 
The Badandthe Beautiful (1952) and Lust for Life 
(1956), star Kirk Douglas, as a megalomaniac 
movie producer in the former, and as Vincent 
van Gogh in the latter. Some Came Running (1958) 
is a lush, small-town melodrama, featuring Shirley 
MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. 





Kenji Mizoguchi 



BORN 18 



DIED 1956 



NATIONALITY Japanese 



CAREER 1923-1956 FILMS 94 



GENRE Costume drama 



Although the West has seen only about a dozen of 
Kenji Mizoguchi's films, they are enough to establish 
him as one of the finest directors of all time. 

From 1922 to 1936, Mizoguchi's poverty forced 
him to make films in which he had no interest, but 
he gradually developed his own style. His humanist 
view of the brutality of feudal Japan was mainly 
concerned with the sufferings of women. He 
preferred long takes, long shots, and gentle camera 
movements, delicately avoiding the need for cutting 
by using slow dissolves and minimal close-ups. The 
effect of moving away to a medium or long shot at 
critical moments deepens the sympathy for the 
characters. His best-known films— The Life of Oharu 
[Saikaku ichidai onna, 1 952), Tales of Ugetsu [Ugetsu 
monogatari, 1 953), and Sansho the Bailiff [Sansho 
dayu, 1954)— are poignantly told in beautiful images. 




| WHAT TO WATCH 

Osaka Elegy (1936) 



Sisters of the Gion (1936) 



The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums ( 1 939) 
Utamaro and his Five Women (1 946) 
The Life of Oharu (1952) 



Ugetsu monogatari ( 1 953) 
Sansho the Bailiff (1954) 



Street of Shame (1956) 



223 




Q Women of the Night 

[Yoru No Onnatachi, 

1948) is an emotional 
drama about a drug 
dealer's mistress, who 
learns that her lover 
is having an affair with 
her sister. 




F W Murnau 



BORN 1888 DIED 1931 



NATIONALITY German 



CAREER 1919-1931 FILMS 21 



GENRE Drama, Fantasy 



F.W. Murnau, along with Ernst Lubitsch, was one of 
the two great German directors in the US. He was 
killed in a car crash while on his way to Paramount 
Studios, leaving five masterpieces behind him. 

Murnau's first features were supernatural tales, 
culminating in Nosferatu [Nosferatu, eine Symphonie 
des Grauens, 1922), the first Dracula film. Although 
expressionistic in manner, The Last Laugh [DerLetzte 
Mann, 1924) moved nearer the Kammerspielfilm 
(chamber film), which dealt with ordinary people 
and events with an element of social criticism. The 
story of how an old hotel doorman (Emil Jannings) 
is reduced to a lavatory attendant is told without any 
intertitles. The camera tracking through the hotel 
corridors, the subjective shots, and the drunken 



dream sequences all make words superfluous. 
Jannings also starred in Murnau's Tartuffe [Herr 
Tartuff, 1 925) and Faust (1 926)— studio productions 
with imagery derived from the Old Masters. In 
Hollywood, he directed Sunrise (1927), the simple 
story of a farmer who tries to kill his devoted wife. 
The lighting, the fluidity of the camera, and the 
blend of German and Hollywood techniques combine 
to make it a poetic masterpiece. However, the studio 
imposed a happy ending on the film; two more also 
suffered from studio interference. Reacting to this, 
Murnau formed his own company with Robert J. 
Flaherty and went to the South Seas to make Tabu 
(1 931 ), which won an Oscar for Best Cinematography. 



WHAT TO WATCH 

Nosferatu [mi] 



The Last Laugh (1924) 



Faust (1926) 



Sunrise (1927) 



7aMl931) 




□ George O'Brien 

plays Anses, a farmer, 
and Janet Gaynor is his 
wife Indre, in Sunrise 
(1927); the farmer 
falls in love with a city 
woman, who suggests 
that he kills his wife. 



224 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ Ema (Leonor 
Silveira) is a sensual 
beauty who enters 
into a marriage of 
convenience in 
Abraham's Valley 
(1993), a haunting 
portrait of privilege, 
passion, and Loneliness. 



Manoel de Oliveira 

BORN 1908 

NATIONALITY Portuguese 
CAREER 1942- FILMS 40 

GENRE Costume drama, Documentary 



Manoel de Oliveira is among the most original and 
profound artists working in the medium, and was 
never more prolific than after he turned 80, writing 
and directing one film a year until well into his 90s. 

While Portugal was under the dictatorial Salazar 
regime (1932-68), Oliveira was condemned to 
years of silence and inactivity. As a result, it was 
only in his 70s that he was able to fully explore 
his principal interests of desire, fear, guilt, and 
perdition, underscored by the very Portuguese 
sentiment of the "consolation of melancholy." 
Many of his films are adaptations of literary works, 
which, while assuming the literary nature of the 



WHAT TO WATCH 

AnikiB6bo^U2) 

Doomed Love (1979) 

Francisca (1981) 

The Cannibals (1988) 

Abraham's Valley (1993) 

The Convent (1995) 

I'm Going Home (2001) 

A Talking Picture (2003) 

O Estranho Caso de Angelica 

[The Strange Case of Angelica, 2010) 



text, destroy conventional narrative with long 
and fixed shots or the repetition of such shots 
in beautifully composed color images. He 
has stipulated that his life story, Memories and 
Confessions [Visita ou Memorias e Confissdes, 1 982), 
is only to be released after his death. 



MAX OPHULS 225 




Max Ophiils 



BORN 1902 DIED 1957 



NATIONALITY German 



CAREER 1930-1955 FILMS 23 



GENRE Costume drama, Melodrama 



Max Ophuls' main preoccupation was the transitory 
nature of Love; his bittersweet, nostalgic films are 
set in the past with a tracking, circling camera 
suggesting the passage of time. 

At the beginning of La Ronde (1950), the Master 
of Ceremonies walks through a film studio onto a 
fin-de-siecle set, changes into an opera cloak, and 
spins a merry-go-round. He is Ophuls' alter ego 
and the title— literally meaning "the round"— is 
a clue to his films, which are like merry-go-rounds 
moving to the sound of a waltz. A masked dancer 
sweeps into a dance hall in House of Pleasure [Le 
Plaisir, 1952), the camera moving with him, and he 
keeps whirling as the music gets livelier until he 
falls. In Lota Montes (1 955), the ringmaster cracks 
his whip at the center of a huge circus ring as the 
heroine reminisces, and the camera revolves 360 
degrees to reveal her past. Everything comes full 



circle as multiple couples keep changing partners 
in La Ronde and after the earrings are passed from 
hand to hand in Madame de... (1 953). 

After five films in Germany including Leiberlei 
(1 933), a story about doomed love, Ophuls went to 
the US. The only film he made there that suggests 
his European period was Letter from an Unknown 
Woman (1948). Returning to Paris in 1949, he 
made La Ronde with a terrific French cast; House 
ofPteasure, based on three Guy de Maupassant 
stories; Madame de..., a witty confection; and his 
final film, Lota Montes, the only one in color and 
with an extraordinary treatment of space on the 
CinemaScope screen. 

WHAT TO WATCH 

Z.e/7>er/e/(1933) 



MayerLing to Sarajevo (1 940) 



Letter from an Unknown Woman (1 948) 



La flonc/e (1950) 

House of Pleasure (1952) 



Madame de... (1953) 



Lola Montes (1955) 



□ Z.o/3 Monfes(1955) 

tells the story of the 
daring but ruined Lola 
(Martine Carol), seen 
here with a circus 
ringmaster, brilliantly 
played by Peter Ustinov. 




226 



□ In an eerie scene 

from Oshima's moody 
period piece Empire 
of Passion (1978), 
Gisaburo (Takahiro 
Tamura), a murdered 
rickshaw driver, 
returns as a ghost. 




Nagisa Oshima 



BORN 1932 



NATIONALITY Japanese 



CAREER 1959- FILMS 26 



GENRE Drama 



The influence of the French NewWave (see pp. 42- 
43) is felt in Nagisa Oshima's films— stimulating and 
provocative metaphors of Japanese social values. 

Death by Hanging [Koshikei, 1968), which earned 
international renown, and Boy[Shonen, 1969) 
critically dissect Japanese social life. The former 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Sun's Burial [Taiyo no hakaba, 1 960) 



Death by Hanging (1968) 
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief ( 1 969) 



Boy (1969) 



The Ceremony [Gishiki, 1971) 



In the Realm of the Senses (1976) 



Empire of Passion ( 1 978) 



Taboo [GohattoAm] 



deals with a condemned man whose body refuses 
to die, while the latter relates how a boy's parents 
train him to get knocked down by cars so they can 
sue the drivers. Oshima equates sexual liberation 
with rebellion in Diary of a Shinjuku Thief [Shinjuku 
dorobo nikki, 1 969). In the Realm of the Senses [Ai 
no corrida, 1976) focuses on obsessive sex between 
agangsteranda prostitute. Empire of Passion [Ai 
no borei, 1978) is equally steamy. 



Yasujiro Ozu 



□ Keiji Sada and 

Yoshiko Kuga take 
tea in Good Morning 
(1959), which Ozu 
remade from his own 
first feature / Was Born, 
But... (1932); both are 
moving portrayals 
of childhood. 



BORN 1903 DIED 1963 



NATIONALITY Japanese 



CAREER 1927-1962 FILMS 54 



GENRE Drama, Comedy 



Describing Yasujiro Ozu's work may make it sound 
trivial, but within their parameters, his films are 
rich in humor, emotion, and social insight. 

Ozu's work is marked by a certain consistency. 
He never married, yet, aside from his early films 
which were light, ironic comedies influenced by 




Hollywood film, he deals with middle-class family 
relationships, particularly the parent-child 
generation gap. Stylistically and thematically too, 
the movies of his mature period are very alike and 
it was this interplay of characters that absorbed 
him rather than the plot. After 1 930, Ozu never 
used a dissolve and seldom moved the camera, 
which remained fixed a little lower than waist 
level. Each of his sequences is of great formal 
beauty, often punctuated by short external shots 
and intensified by music. 

WHAT TO WATCH 

Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947) 
Late Spring [Banshun, 1 949) 
Early Summer [Bakushu, 1 951 ) 



Tokyo Story [Tokyo Monogatari, 1 953) 

Early Spring [Soshun, 1956) 

Equinox Flower [Higanbana, 1 958) 

Good Morning [Ohayo, 1959) 

Late Autumn [Akibiyori, 1960) 

The End of Summer [Kohayagawa-ke no aki, 1 961 ) 

An Autumn Afternoon [Sanma no aji, 1 962) 



GEORG WILHELM PABST 227 



GeorgWilhelm Pabst 

BORN 1885 DIED 1967 
NATIONALITY German 

CAREER 1923-1956 FILMS 34 
GENRE Drama, War 

Compelling depictions of human degradation 
in a corrupt society, G.W. Pabst's films came out 
of a Germany defined by rapid inflation and the 
rise of Nazism, and went on to inspire a major shift 
from expressionism to realism in German film. 

Despite the obvious unfairness to Pabst, it 
is tempting to observe that in all his best films, 
the actresses stand out rather than the director: 
20-year-old Greta Garbo on the brink of prostitution 
in Joyless Street [Die freudiose Gasse, 1 925); Brigitte 
Helm as the lonely blind girl in The Love of Jeanne 
Ney [Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney, 1 927); Lotte Lenya 
in The Threepenny Opera [Die Dreigroschenoper, 
1931); and, above all, American Louise Brooks 
in Pandora's Box [Die Buchse der Pandora, 1 929) 
and Diary of a Lost Girt [Tagebuch einer Veriorenen, 
1 929). Pandora's Box was a star vehicle for Louise 
Brooks, with her bobbed black hair framing her 
pale kittenish face, and her every gesture and 
expression imbued with eroticism. Her character 



Lulu— a woman who destroys men— became 
one of the icons of film, and inspired Pabst 
to produce his finest work, Diary of a Lost Girl 
(1929). This film again explores the social and 
economic breakdown of post-war Germany, with 
its brutal depiction of a girls' reform school. Both 
Westfront 1918 (1930), Pabst's talkie debut, and 
Comradeship [Kameradschaft, 1931) plead the cause 
of international brotherhood. The former ends with 
a French soldier clutching a dead German's hand; 
the latter tells of German miners rescuing their 
French comrades trapped in a shaft. Though The 
Threepenny Opera is a slightly softened adaptation 
of the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill musical, it retains 
plenty of anti-bourgeois bite. 

Pabst made three historical films under the 
Nazis, including Paracelsus (1943). As a form of 
atonement, his later films, notably The Trial [Der 
Prozefi, 1948), are attacks on anti-Semitism. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927) 



Pandora's Box (1929) 



Diary of a Lost Girt (1929) 



The Threepenny Opera (1931) 



Comradeship (1931) 



□ Pabst's Westfront 

7975(1930) gives a 
bitter, realistic view of 
the barbed wire and 
trenches of World 
War I, seen through 
the eyes of four young 
German recruits. 




228 



E3 In Shadows of 
Forgotten Ancestors 

(1965), Ivan Mikolajchuk 
(center), here wearing 
the traditional costume 
of the Ukrainian 
Hutsuls, plays a 
tragic hero. 




Sergei Parajanov 



BORN 1924 DIED 1990 



NATIONALITY Georgian 



CAREER 1954-19 



FILMS 9 



GENRE Costume drama 



Sergei Parajanov's poetic, pictoriaUy breathtaking 
films explore not only the history and folklore of 
the great Georgian director's native land, but 
also his idiosyncratic personal universe. Born 
in Georgia to Armenian parents, Parajanov was 



[ 



WHAT TO WATCH 



The Stone Flower [ 1962) 



Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1 964) 
The Color of Pomegranates (1968) 
Ashik Kerib (1988) 



imprisoned in the former Soviet Union for three 
years in 1 974, for various "crimes." Shadows 
of Forgotten Ancestors [ Tini Zabutykh Predkiv, 
1964), reveals his great talent for lyricism and 
opulence. His love for music, dance, and costumes 
reached its peak in The Color of Pomegranates 
[SayatNova, 1968). The film's eloquent imagery 
illustrates— in a series of tableaux— the poems 
of 18th-century Georgian poet Sayat Nova. 
In Ashik Kerib [Ashug-Karibi, 1988), each 
kaleidoscopic episode is ravishing; at the end, 
a white dove lands on a black camera, fluttering 
out of the past into the present. 



□ Street urchin 
Perkins (Ninetto Davoli) 
is an object of ridicule 
in Pasolini's sexually 
explicit The Canterbury 
Tales (1972). The film 
was shot on location 
in Canterbury in the UK. 



Pier Paolo Pasolini 



BORN 1922 DIED 1975 



NATIONALITY Italian 



CAREER 1961-1975 FILMS 12 



GENRE Satire, Drama 



Although Pier Paolo Pasolini's uncompromising 
films are rooted in Italian neorealism (see pp.1 54- 
55), they are permeated by ideology and myth. 

Pasolini was a well-known novelist, poet, and 
screenwriter before his first film, Accatone (1961). 
He drew on his knowledge of Rome to realistically 




depict a derelict urban landscape. The Gospel 
According to St. Matthew [II Vangelo Secondo Matteo, 
1964) is a poetic attempt to present Christ as an 
ordinary Italian peasant. Oedipus Rex [Edipo Re, 
1967), while faithful to Sophocles, has a prologue 
and epilogue set in modern Rome. Pasolini deals 
with the middle classes for the first time in Theorem 
[Teorema, 1968). The Decameron [II Decameron, 

1971) , The Canterbury Tales [I Racconti di Canterbury, 

1 972) , and The Arabian Nights [II Fiore Delle Mille e 
Una Notte, 1974) form a trilogy of satires. The final 
ten minutes of his last film Salo, or the 120 Days of 
Sodom [Said o le 120 giornate diSodoma, 1 975) are 
among the most memorable in all of film. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Accatone (1961) 



The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1 964) 



Oedipus Rex (1967) 



Theorem (1968) 



The Decameron (1971) 



The Canterbury Tales (1 972) 



The Arabian Nights (1974) 

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1 975) 



ROMAN POLANSKI 229 



Sam Peckinpah 



BORN 1925 DIED 1984 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1961-1983 FILMS 14 



GENRE Western 



Associated with the rise of graphic screen violence 
in 1960s Hollywood, Sam Peckinpah's lyrical films 
portray disenchantment. His Westerns, in particular, 
are explorations into moral ambiguities. 

Born and raised on a ranch in California, he 
attended military school and went through a spell 
in the Marines. His films reflect his background— a 
masculine world where manhood and independence 
are expressed through violence. Hence the nostalgia 
for the Old West where men were heroes and women 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Ride the High Country (1962) 



Major Dundee (1965) 



The Wild Bunch (1969) 



The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) 



Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1 973) 



Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1 974) 



were subordinate. The recurring theme of 
"unchanged men in a changing land" is introduced 
in his second film, Ride the High Country (1962), 
with Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea as aging 
gunfighters. In The Wild Bunch (1969), set in 1914, 
William Holden and his gang try to live as outlaws 
from another age. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) 
is another elegy for the Old West, but with more of 
Peckinpah's edgy sense of humor. Steve McQueen 
in Junior Bonner (1972) feels anachronistic (a bit 
like the director himself) in the new-style West and 
follows his own moral code, living at the edge of 
society. Peckinpah's running battle with producers, 
whom he saw as the bad guys, made him disown 
Major Dundee (1965) when they recut it. A longer 
version, closer to his own cut, was released in 2005. 




□ Billy (Kris 
Kristofferson, left) 
and Pat (James Coburn, 
right), play old friends 
turned adversaries in 
the 1973 Western, Pat 
Garrett and Billy the Kid. 



Roman Polanski 



BORN 1933 



NATIONALITY Polish 



CAREER 1962- FILMS 19 



GENRE Drama 



The turbulent life of Roman Polanski has influenced 
many of his films. His subjects offer a bleak view of 
humanity; his stories told with absurdist humor. 

Born to Polish parents who died in the Holocaust, 
Polanski revisited 1940s Poland in the Academy 
Award-winning film The Pianist (2002), his first in 
his native country since Knife in the Water (1962). 
There is little distinction between nightmare and 
reality in many of his movies. In Rosemary's Baby 
(1968), Mia Farrow screams, "This is not a dream. It 
is reality," believing that she has been impregnated 
by the devil. We witness the "reality" of Catherine 



Deneuve's breakdown as the walls of her room 
come alive in Repulsion (1965). Sex is a regular 
theme in Polanski's films: sexual rivalry [Knife 
in the Water], sexual humiliation {Cul-de-Sac, 
1966), and incest [Chinatown, 1974). After the 
murder of his wife Sharon Tate in 1969, he 
directed a blood-soaked Macbeth (1971). 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Knife in the Water (1962) 



Repulsion (1965) 



Cul-de-Sac (1965) 



Rosemary's Baby (1968) 



Chinatown (1974) 



The Tenant (1976) 




The Pianist (2002) 

The Ghost Writer [WW) 



Knife in the Water 

(1962) was Polanski's 
first feature film. 



230 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ John Justin, 

June Duprez, and 
Sabu star in The Thief 
of Baghdad (1940), an 
early Powell-Berger- 
Whelan film. 



Michael Powell, 
Emeric Pressburger 

BORN 1905 (Powell), 1902 (Pressburger) 
DIED 1990 (Powell), 1988 (Pressburger) 

NATIONALITY British (Powell), 
Hungarian-British (Pressburger) 

CAREER 1939-1972 (Powell), 1942-1956 (Pressburger) 
FILMS 18 

GENRE Fantasy, Musical, War 

The films that carry the unusual credit of "Produced, 
Written, and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric 
Pressburger" are eccentric, extravagant, witty 
fantasies. They contrast sharply with the realistic 
approach typical of British film at the time. 




In 1939, Michael Powell (as director) collaborated 
with Emeric Pressburger (as scriptwriter) for the 
first time on The Spy in Black, thus beginning one 
of the closest creative partnerships in film history. 
So close was their working relationship that 
although Pressburger's contribution was mostly 
writing and Powell was in charge on the studio 
floor, they received joint directorial credit on their 
films from 1 939 to 1 956. This may account for 
their curious blend of the very British and the 
very Middle European. There is a mystical love 
for England in A Canterbury Tate (1944) and for 
Scotland in / Know Where I'm Going (1945), and 
British patriotism and courage in One of Our 
Aircraft is Missing (1 942) and The Small Back 
Room (1948). However, the most sympathetic 
characters, played by different actors, are 
Germans in The Spy in Black (1939, Conrad Veidt), 
The Battle of the River Plate (1 956, Peter Finch), 
and most controversially, The Life and Death of 
Colonel Blimp (1943, Anton Walbrook). Winston 
Churchill tried to ban the latter for "ridiculing 
the army" during wartime. 

A Matter of Life and Death (1946), The Red 
Shoes (1948), The Tales of Hoffman (1951), and Oh! 
Rosalinda (1 955) are closer to the world of Vincente 
Minnelli's Hollywood musicals (influenced in turn 
by European design) than to any other British film. 
Each, however, examines the nature of film and its 
links with theater, painting, and music. The Red 
Shoes, perhaps the duo's most popular film, is also 
an allegory of the artist's unswerving dedication 
to art in the person of Boris Lermontov (Anton 
Walbrook), the ballet-dancer impresario in the 
film. Out of the 12 films they made between 1943 
and 1956, nine were in sensuous Technicolor 
(photography by Jack Cardiff or Christopher 

WHAT TO WATCH 



The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp [ 1 943) 

A Canterbury Tale (1944) 

/ Know Where I'm Going ( 1 945) 

A Matter of Life and Death (1946) 

Black Narcissus (1947) 

The Red Shoes (1948) 

The Small Back Room ( 1 948) 

The Tales of Hoffman (1951) 



OTTO PREMINGER 



Challis) with flamboyant sets and designs (Hein 
Heckroth and Alfred Junge). Junge's studio sets 
for Black Narcissus (1 947) create the atmosphere 
of a Himalayan convent, where nuns struggle 
against desire. A heady mixture of religion and 
eroticism also runs through the wondrously 
strange A Canterbury Tate, in which a man pours 
glue on the heads of girls who date servicemen. 

Powell and Pressburger went their separate 
ways after the World War II adventure film /// 
Met By Moonlight (1956). Powell never had the 
same success alone, although the perverse 
Peeping Tom (1960), about a psychopathic murderer 
who photographs victims at the moment of death, 
is rich in levels of interpretation and has gained in 
reputation over the years. In the 1 970s, Powell was 
"rediscovered" by Martin Scorsese and Francis 
Ford Coppola who set up projects with him. In 
1981, he was appointed as advisor at Coppola's 
Zoetrope Studios. 




□ Moira Shearer stars as Victoria, a young dancer 
torn between love and her career, with Leonide 
Massine in The Red Shoes (1 948), a romance set in 
the world of ballet. 




Otto Preminger 



BORN 1905 DIED 19 I 



NATIONALITY Austrian-American 



CAREER 1931-1980 FILMS 37 



GENRE Film noir, Thriller 



The best films of Otto Preminger, made in the US 
from 1935, are moody crime melodramas, using 
a cool, interrogatory method. 

Many of Preminger's films are put together like 
pieces of evidence in a trial at which the characters 
reveal themselves through their obsessions. In Laura 
(1 944), a detective falls in love with a "dead" woman; 
murders and trials also occur in Fallen Angel (1945) 
and Whirlpool (1949). A whole town is put on trial in 
The Thirteenth Letter (1951), and trials are central to 
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), Saint Joan 
(1957), and Anatomy of a Murder (1959). These are 
considered the essential Preminger movies, along 
with Daisy Kenyon (1947), starring Joan Crawford. 
Preminger battled censorship for The Moon is Blue 
(1953) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). In the 
1960s, he shifted to making blockbusters like Exodus 
(1 960) and Advise and Consent (1 962). 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Laura (1944) 



Fallen Angel [IMS] 



Daisy Kenyon (1947) 



The Man with the Golden Arm (1 955) 



Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 



Exodus (1960) 



Advise and Consent ( 1 962) 



□ James Stewart, 

Ben Gazarra, and 
Arthur O'Connell 
discuss the defense 
in Anatomy of a 
Murder (1959). 




□ Film poster, 1962 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 




□ In this dramatic 
scene in Storm 
Over Asia (1928), 
Bair, the Mongolian 
trapper, is captured 
by British soldiers. 



Vsevolod Pudovkin 



BORN 1893 DIED 1953 



NATIONALITY Russian 
CAREER 1926-1953 FILMS 15 

GENRE Epic, Costume drama 



At the forefront of the experimental period in Soviet 
silent film, Vsevolod Pudovkin was forced to toe the 
Communist party line later in his career. 

Pudovkin and his contemporary, Sergei Eisenstein, 
were among the first great theorists of film 
who put their theories of dynamic montage into 
practice. A comparison was made when they both 
directed films on the same subject in the same 
location at the same time. Pudovkin's The End of St. 



Petersburg {Konets Sankt-Peterburga, 1927), which 
shows the effects of the 1917 revolution on an 
uneducated peasant boy, is more human and less 
stylized than Eisenstein's October (1928). Pudovkin's 
first feature film, Mother {Mat, 1 926), is a tightly 
constructed adaptation of Maxim Gorky's rambling 
novel. His last silent film, the passionate Storm Over 
Asia [Potomok Chingis-Khana, 1928) is about Bair 
(Valery Inkijinoff), a Mongolian nomad, who leads 
his people against the British occupying forces. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Mother { 1926) 

The End of St. Petersburg (1 927) 



Storm Over Asia (1928) 



□ Joan Crawford 

(center), with Scott 
Brady and Ben Cooper, 
was one of only two 
women starring in 
Johnny Guitar 1 1954)- 
the other was Mercedes 
McCambridge. The 
film is a psychological 
study and a penetrating 
social commentary. 



Nicholas Ray 



BORN 1911 DIED 1979 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1948-1963 FILMS 22 



GENRE Film noir, Western, Epic 



Even within the context of the Hollywood studio, 
Nicholas Ray managed to make offbeat movies, 
focusing on alienated characters, and using 
dynamic framing and dramatic colors. 

A pre-credit sequence in They Live By Night (1949), 
Ray's first feature, introduces us to Cathy and Farley, 
doomed outlaw lovers, with the subtitle: "This boy, 
this girl were never properly introduced to the world 
we live in." This statement applies to most of Ray's 
characters. Among them are Nick (John Derek), 
the slum boy on trial for murder in Knock on Any 




Door (1949), Dixon (Humphrey Bogart), the isolated 
screenwriter with sadistic tendencies in In a Lonely 
Place (1950), and the misanthropic cop Jim (Robert 
Ryan) in On Dangerous Ground (1952). They, together 
with Jim, Plato, and Judy (James Dean, Sal Mineo, 
and Natalie Wood) from Rebel Without a Cause 
(1955), and cortisone-addicted Ed (James Mason) 
from Bigger Than Life (1956), are all loners trying 
to make contact with the world. As Johnny (Sterling 
Hayden) says in Johnny Guitar (1954), Tm a stranger 
here myself." Ray's use of color and choreographed 
action sequences suggest a musical form. The 
anthropology in The Savage Innocents (1960), 
the ecology in Wind Across the Everglades (1958), 
and the neuroses of male leads, such as Jeff 
(Robert Mitchum), the lonely rodeo rider in The 
Lusty Men (1952), make these films unusual for 
the time. Ray's brooding romantic side was stifled 
in epics such as King of Kings (1961) and 55 Days at 
Peking (1963). His final work Lightning Over Water 
(1980) is an account of his battle with brain cancer. 



WHAT TO WATCH 



They Live By Night (1949) 



In a Lonely Place (1950) 



Johnny Gi//far (1954) 



Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 



Bigger Than Life (1956) 



Wind Across the Everglades (1 958) 



Satyajit Ray 



BORN 1921 DIED 1992 



NATIONALITY Indian 



CAREER 1955-1991 FILMS 30 



GENRE Drama 



Satyajit Ray's films, which deal mainly with the 
collision between traditional and modern beliefs, 
reveal the human face of his vast country. 

Father Panchali {Song of the Road, 1 955), The 
Unvanquished [Aparajito, 1956), and The World of Apu 
[ApurSansar, 1959), are known to the world as the 
Apu trilogy. The Music Room [Jalsaghar, 1 959) 
focuses on an aging aristocrat trying to cling to 
bygone days, while in The Chess Players [Shatranjke 
Khiladi, 1977), a 19th-century nawab tries to stem 
the tide of change. The Lonely Wife [Charulata, 
1 964) and Days and Nights in the Forest [Aranyer 
Din Rath, 1 970) show the influence of Jean Renoir 
and Anton Chekhov, but the deceptively simple 
cinematic effects are the master director's own. 




, WHAT TO WATCH 



Pather Panchali (1955) 



The Unvanquished (1 956) 
The Music Room (1959) 



The World of Apu (1959) 



The Big City [1964] 



The Lonely Wife (1964) 



Distant Thunder (1973) 
The Middleman (1976) 



The Chess Players (1977) 



233 



□ In The Chess Players 

(1977), Nawab Wajid 
Ali Shah (Amjad 
Khan) confers with 
his prime minister 
(Victor Banerjee) 
before being ousted 
from the throne by 
the British. 



Days and Nights in the Forest [ 1 970) 



Jean Renoir 



BORN 1894 DIED 1979 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1925-1970 FILMS 35 



GENRE Drama, Farce, Musical 



Jean Renoir's career span almost matches that of 
the history of film, from expressionism (see box, 
p. 259) to neorealism (see box, p. 286), with films 
from film noir to Hollywood movies; from Technicolor 
period spectacles to fast television techniques. 

Renoir entered films in order to make his wife, 
Catherine Hessling, a star. He displayed her strange 
stylized acting in his first five silent films. However, 
only with the coming of sound, which he used 
brilliantly, did he blossom as a director. He directed 
Michel Simon in his first three talkies, including 
Boudu Saved from Drowning [Boudu Sauve des 
Eaux, 1 932), in which Simon is the spirit of anarchy 
trapped in a bourgeois marriage. Renoir's egalitarian 
films have no heroes or villains. The three prisoners 
of war in Grand Illusion [La Grande Illusion, 1 937) are 
working class, middle class, and aristocratic, united 



in brotherhood. In The Rules of the Game [La Regie 
duJeu, 1939), the servants are as important as their 
masters. In the US during World War II, Renoir 
managed to preserve his style, even persuading the 
studios to shoot The Southerner (1945) on location. 

In Europe, he made three stylish, operettalike 
romances about the choice between the theater 
and life: The Golden Coach {Le Carrosse d'Or, 1 952); 
French Can-Can (1954); and Elena and Her Men 
(1956). His films are a unique blend of emotions 
and moods, realism, fantasy, tragedy, and farce. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Boudu Saved from Drowning (1 932) 

The Crime of Monsieur Lange 

[Le Crime de Monsieur Lange, 1936) 

Grand Illusion [La Grande ///us/on, 1937) 

The Human Beast [La Bete Humaine, 1 938) 

The Rules of the Game [La Regie du Jeu, 1 939) 

The Southerner (1945) 

The Golden Coach [Le Carrosse d'Or, 1952) 

French Can-Can (1954) 

Elena and Her Men (1956) 




D Film poster, 1937 



234 a-z OF DIRECTORS 



□ Film poster, 1961 



Alain Resnais 



BORN 1922 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1959- FILMS 18 



GENRE Drama, Romance, War 




Alain Resnais' best films mingle memory, 
imagination, past and present, and desire 
and fulfilment, treating sound, words, 
music, and images on an equal basis. 
In Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), a 
French actress has an affair with 
a Japanese architect. Set in a rebuilt 
Hiroshima that is still traumatized 
by the horror of the atom bomb, 
images of the actress' past in wartime 
France flash in her mind. Last Year at Marienbad 
[L An nee Derniere a Marienbad, 1 961 ) changed 
the concept of subjective time in film. Muriel (1963), 
with its indirect reference to the Algerian War, 



JwHAT TO WATCH 

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1 959) 



Last Year at Marienbad (1961) 
Mur/e/ (1963) 



The War is Over (1966) 



Sfaw's/cy(1974) 



Providence (1977) 



Same Old Song (1997) 



Les Herbes Folles [Wild Grass, 2009) 

seems more realistic on the surface, but 
it is as stylized and metaphysical as Resnais' 
previous films. These three masterpieces were 
never equaled, although The War is Over [La 
Guerre estfinie, 1966), a portrait of an aging 
exile from Franco's Spain now living in France, 
and Providence (1977), a nightmare lived by a 
dying novelist, come close. In the 1980s, Resnais 
made a number of film adaptations of stage 
works with his own company of actors. 



□ Camille (Jeanne 
Balibar), a stage 
actress, hunts for 
a missing ring in Va 
Savoir (2001), a witty 
comedy, which, like 
many of Rivette's 
films, is located in 
a theatrical setting. 



Jacques Rivette 



BORN 1928 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1960- FILMS 23 



GENRE Avant-garde, Fantasy 



The films of Jacques Rivette are challenging, 
intellectually enquiring, and long. They are probably 
the most under-appreciated among the works 
of the French NewWave (see pp. 42-43) directors. 

Ironically for a director steeped in film, theater 
dominates much of Rivette's work, one of the major 
themes being the "play-within-a-film." He explored 




WHAT TO WATCH 



Paris Belongs to Us ( 1 96 1 ) 



The Nun [La Religieuse, 1 966) 



Mad Love [LAmour Fou, 1969) 



Celine and Julie Go Boating (1 974) 



La Belle Noiseuse (1991) 



Jeanne la Pucelle I - Les batailles (1 994) 

Va Savoir (2001) 

The Duchess of Langeais (2007) 

this in Paris Belongs to Us [Paris NousAppartient, 

1961), in which a group of amateur actors 
come together in a deserted Paris to stage 
a performance of Shakespeare's Pericles. 
Paris, shown realistically but where fantastic 
things take place, is the constant background 
to his films. One of his most accessible films is 
Celine and Julie Go Boating [Celine et Julie Vont 
en Bateau, 1974), a brilliantly comic meditation 
on the nature of fiction. Rivette's exploration of 
the act of creation reaches its apex in La Belle 
Noiseuse (1991), which captures with painful 
lucidity the anguish of Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli), 
an artist struggling to express himself on canvas. 



ERIC ROHMER 235 




Eric Rohmer 



BORN 1920 DIED 2010 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1959-2007 FILMS 24 



GENRE Comedy 



In Eric Rohmer's words, "I'm less concerned with 
what people do than what is going on in their minds 
while they're doing it." Although most of his films 
are dialogue-centric, they are far from being 
conversation pieces. 

The characters in Rohmer's delicious comedies 
of error are defined by their relationships with the 
opposite sex. The sumptuous, hedonistic settings 
and seductive characters are essentially what the 
conversations, narrations, and diary extracts in 
the plots are all about. In the Six Moral Tales 
series (1963-72), a man renounces sex with a 
woman for ethical reasons. In The Collector {La 
Collectioneuse, 1966), an intellectual rejects the 
advances of a promiscuous bikini-clad nymphet. 
(Young girls were to appear with increasing 
frequency in Rohmer's films as he got older.) In 
My Night at Maud's [Ma Nuit chez Maud, 1 969), 



a man spends a chaste night in bed with Maud, a 
beautiful woman. Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy), 
a diplomat spending summer at a lake resort, 
allows himself the exquisite pleasure of embracing 
a teenager's knee in Claire's Knee [Le Genou de 
Claire, 1970), as erotic a moment as any bedroom 
scene. In Rohmer's second series, called Comedies 
and Proverbs (1981-87), characters are less 
articulate, but still analyze all their actions. 
His witty investigations into the illusions of love 
continued with Tales of Four Seasons (1990-98.) 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



My Nightat Maud's [Ma Nuit chez Maude, 1 969) 

Claire's Knee [Le Genou de Claire, 1 970] 

The Aviator's Wife [La Femme de I'Aviateur, 1 981 ] 

Pauline at the Beach [Pauline a la Plage, 1 983) 

The Green Ray [Le Rayon Vert, 1 986) 

A Tale of Springtime [Conte de printemps, 1 990) 

A Tale of Winter [Conte d'hiver, 1 992) 

A Summer's Tale [Conte d'ete, 1996) 



□ Etienne (Didier 
Sandre), a professor, 
is seen here with young 
Rosine (Alexia Portal) 
in An Autumn 7a/e (1998), 
a bittersweet look at 
love and relationships 
in midlife. 




An Autumn Tale [Conte d'automne, 1998) 

Les amours d'Astree et de Celadon 

[The Romance ofAstrea and Celadon, 2007) 



m 



* i tin 



Q Film poster, 1970 




A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



Roberto Rossellini 



BORN 1906 DIED 1977 



NATIONALITY Italian 



CAREER 1940-1977 FILMS 24 



GENRE Cult, Drama, Horror 



□ Edmund (Edmund 
Meschke), in Germany 
Year Zero (1948), faces 
a burned out Berlin 
where he must eke 
out a Living. The Low- 
angle shot points to 
the insurmountable 
task ahead of him. 



Passion and humanity resonate through the films 
of Roberto Rossellini in the three phases of his 
career: neorealism (see box, p. 286), the Ingrid 
Bergman melodramas, and the films about 
saints and historical figures. 

Although the term neorealist was first applied 
to Luchino Visconti's Ossessione (1943), it was 
Rossellini's three movies— Rome, Open City [Roma, 
CittaAperta, 1945) on the Resistance; Paisan [Pa'isa, 
1946) on the Liberation; and Germany Year Zero 
[Germania Anno Zero, 1948) on post-war turmoil— 
that established the style. Shot with minimum 
resources in natural surroundings, the films depict 





□ In Stromboli (1950), Karen (Bergman) realizes 
she has escaped a POW camp only to be imprisoned 
in marriage. The theme of displacement in 
Rossellini's war films is revisited here. 

historic events in human terms. Children emerge 
as the nucleus of suffering: in Germany Year Zero, 
a young boy, unable to feed his family in occupied 
post-war Germany, throws himself off a building. 

In 1950, Rossellini married Ingrid Bergman and 
instead of casting her in glamorous roles, he gave 
her intense ones. Bergman seeks salvation atop a 
volcano in Stromboli (1 950), tends the poor and the 
sick in The Greatest Love [Europa '51, 1952), witnesses 
a miracle in Voyage to Italy [Viaggio in Italia, 1 953), 
and is driven to suicide in Fear [La Paura, 1 954)— all 
are films about marriage in crisis. The sequence was 
interrupted by The Flowers of St. Francis [Francesco, 
Giullare diDio, 1950), about the life of the saint. After 
divorcing Bergman, Rossellini made historical and 
religious features, mainly for television. These 
include biopics on Socrates, Augustine of Hippo, 
the Medicis, Alcide de Gasperi (Italy's first post-war 
president), and the feature The Rise of Louis XIV [La 
Prise de Pouvoir par Louis XIV, 1966). The Messiah [II 
Messia, 1975), the story of Christ, was his last film. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Rome, Open City (1945) 
Paisan (1946) 



Germany Year Zero (1 948) 



Stromboli [mo] 



The Greatest Love (1952) 



Voyage to Italy (1953) 



General della Rovere 

[II Generale della Rovere) (1959) 



The Rise of Louis XIV [] 9 66) 



Martin Scorsese 



BORN 1942 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 15 



FILMS 24 



GENRE Gangster, Thriller 



The exciting, dark, and obsessive talent of Martin 
Scorsese is seen at its best in his explorations 
into the Italian-American identity. He looks into 
its endemic machismo and violence that often 
manifests itself in crime. His inventiveness was 
first noticed as editor and virtual director of 
Woodstock (1970), the rockumentary (see p. 95). 
Producer Roger Corman helped him make his 
first feature, Boxcar Bertha (1972), an excellent 
apprentice work with a fine sense of locale. 

Early influences 

Scorsese spent a bedridden asthmatic childhood 
with his Sicilian-Catholic family in Little Italy, New 
York. He gives the impression of being obsessed 
with his background, although he claims to have 
exorcised his childhood demons by making Mean 
Streets (1 973). Filmed in dark tones, the movie 
inhabits the twilight world of nightclubs, where 
two crooks, Charlie (Harvey Keitel) and "Johnny 
Boy" (Robert De Niro), try to survive. The smooth 
bonhomie between members of the Mafia, the pasta 
meals, Italian arias, religious and family rituals 
camouflaging the gun lore seething beneath, were 
to become familiar elements in Scorsese's thrillers. 
This milieu was revisited in GoodFelLas (1990), where 
he refines the examination of these dubious, ironically 
glamorized, members of the Mob, seen through the 
eyes of Henry (Ray Liotta), who is attracted to the 
false aura of power and success. In Gangs of New 
York (2002), Scorsese recreates the Manhattan of 
the mid-1 9th century, where the predecessors 
of the "goodfellas" operated, on an epic scale. 

Raging Bull (1 980) is the story of Jake LaMotta- 
world middleweight boxing champion from 1949 
to 1 951 . Virtually an anti-biopic— unlike his more 
conventional The Aviator (2004)— it tells us nothing 
of La Motta's past. Rather, it presents us, in splendid 
black-and-white images, with the male animal's 
primitive emotions. Scorsese's favorite actor, 
Robert De Niro, won the Academy Award for Best 
Actor for the raw energy of his performance. If the 




New York of Taxi Driver (1 976) is the city of the 
1940s film noir, then New York, New York (1977) 
shows the wonderful town of 1940s musicals. De 
Niro convincingly enacted the role of a disturbed 
would-be comedian in Scorsese's black comedy, 
The King of Comedy (1 982). The Departed (2006), 
a crime drama, won him a Best Director Oscar. 
Away from the violence that dominates many 
of his films, Scorsese successfully entered 
Merchant-Ivory territory with The Age of Innocence 
(1993) and courted controversy with The Last 
Temptation of Christum). 

In response to the criticism that his films contain 
pointless violence, Scorsese says, "There is no such 
thing as pointless violence. It's reality, it's real life, it 
has to do with the human condition. Being involved 
in Christianity and Catholicism when I was very 
young, you have that innocence, the teachings of 
Christ. Deep down you want to think that people 
are really good— but the reality outweighs that." 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Mean Streets (1973) 



Taxi Driver (1 97 6) 



New York, New York [mi] 



Raging Bull (1980) 



After Hours (1985) 



The Color of Money (1986) 



The Last Temptation of Christ (1 988) 



GoodFellas (1990) 

The Age of Innocence ( 1 993) 



Gangs of New York (2002) 



The Departed (2006) 



Shutter Island (20 10) 



□ An unusual film 

from Scorsese, The 
Age of Innocence (1993) 
nevertheless depicts 
his well-traversed 
theme of a man (Daniel 
Day-Lewis as Newland) 
caught between desire 
(for Ellen, played by 
Michelle Pfeiffer) 
and reality. 




□ Film poster, 2004 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ Village women fetch 
water in Moolaade 
(2004) (meaning 
protection); the movie 
critically analyzes 
the practice of female 
circumcision— still 
performed in parts 
of Africa. 



Ousmane Sembene 

BORN 1923 DIED 2007 
NATIONALITY Senegalese 
CAREER 1963- FILMS 9 

GENRE Comedy-drama 



The comedy-dramas of Ousmane Sembane dig 
deep into African society and its colonial past. 
The director thought of himself as the modern 
incarnation of the griot, the tribal storyteller. 




i WHAT TO WATCH 



The Money Order (1968) 



God of Thunder [197 1) 
XaLalThe Curse, 1975) 



The Camp at Thiaroye (1 989) 



Moolaade (2004) 



Sembene's favorite theme was the effect on 
his country of nearly 400 years of colonial rule. He 
joined the Free French Forces fighting in Senegal 
in 1942, and his wartime experiences contributed 
to the authenticity of two of his films, God of 
Thunder [Emitai, 1 971 ) and The Camp at Thiaroye 
[Camp Thiaroye, 1989), which reveal aspects of 
World War II through African eyes. The Money Order 
[Mandabi, 1968), was the first feature ever made by 
an all-African crew in a native African language, 
Wolof— widely spoken in Senegal. Most of his 
films are in Wolof, and deliver social messages 
through wry humor and pathos. 




Douglas Sirk 



BORN 1900 DIED 1987 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1934-1959 FILMS 41 



GENRE Melodrama, Musical, Drama 



□ Film poster, 1955 



Remembered, first and foremost, as the director 
of four rich Technicolor "women's pictures" of the 
1950s, Douglas Sirk (Claus Detlev Sierk) directed 
comedies, musicals, war films, and Westerns. 

Born in Germany of Danish parents, Sirk made 
ten films in Europe under his real name before 
going to the US. In Hollywood, he attempted a range 
of genres, all of them created with impeccable style, 
paying attention to lighting, sets, and costumes. 
He directed the suave George Sanders in three 
atmospheric period pieces— Summer Storm (1944), 
A Scandal in Paris (1946), and Lured (1947). His forte 
for soap operatics was first evident in a Barbara 
Stanwyck film, All I Desire (1953), but it burgeoned 
in the melodramas he made in Technicolor for 
Universal Pictures, beginning with Magnificent 
Obsession (1954). In the film, Rock Hudson plays 
Bob Merrick, who becomes an eye-surgeon in 



order to restore the sight of Helen (Jane Wyman). 
In All That Heaven Allows (1955), a middle-aged 
widow, Cary (Wyman) marries her much younger 
gardener Ron (Hudson). In Written on the Wind 
(1956), alcoholism, impotence, and disease are 
rife in the family of oil tycoon Jasper Hadley. 
Imitation of Life (1959), about the close friendship 
between Annie (Juanita Moore), a black woman, 
and Lora (Lana Turner), a white woman, provides 
a weepy end to the golden age of Sirk's Hollywood 
melodrama. His inventive use of color, fluid 
camerawork, compassion for his characters, 
and condemnation of a hypocritical society, 
transcend his soap opera material. 



[ 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Has Anybody Seen My Gal? ( 1 952) 



Take Me to Town (1953) 



All I Desire (1953) 



Magnificent Obsession (1 954) 



All That Heaven Allows (1955) 



Written on the Wind (1956) 



The Tarnished Angels (1957) 



Imitation of Life (1959) 




Steven Spielberg 



BORN 1946 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1975- FILMS 29 



GENRE Adventure, Drama, Science fiction 

One of the most famous Hollywood directors, 
Steven Spielberg has an intuitive sense of the 
hopes and fears of his audience. This quality 
combined with his showmanship have made him 
one of the greats, in the league of Cecil B. DeMille, 
Frank Capra, and Alfred Hitchcock. 

Spielberg's first movies were influenced by 
Hitchcock's mechanics of suspense. Duel (1971) is a 
superior psychological thriller about road paranoia, 
while Jaws (1975) terrified viewers about horrors 
lurking in the ocean. However, he wasn't interested 
in becoming the "new Hitchcock." Instead, the 
qualities repeatedly found in his films are childlike 
innocence and wonder. Two films with these features 
are about friendly aliens: Close Encounters of the 
Third Kind (1977) and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). 
These, along with the action-adventure film Raiders 
of the Lost Ark (1981) and its two sequels made 
him one of the most successful directors ever. 

Spielberg is unencumbered by pretensions or 
politics. By the mid-1980s, after forming his own 
film studio, Dreamworks SKG, he was in a position 
to film anything he chose. He turned to books: The 
Color Purple (1985) by Alice Walker, with its tough 
subject matter of racism, sexism, and lesbianism in 
the US of the early 20th century, provided meaningful 
themes to explore. Empire of the Sun (1987), based 
on J.G. Ballard's wartime memoir, is a worthy film, 
but not a significant advance on the prisoner-of-war 



movies of previous decades. In Schindler's List (1993), 
based on Thomas Keneally's novel, Spielberg 
explored the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. 
An account of the "Final Solution," it is probably 
his most important film. Saving Private Ryan (1998), 
with Tom Hanks as a US platoon commander in 
Normandy during World War II, displays the most 
intense combat scenes Hollywood has produced. 
Made at virtually the same time as Schindler's List 
(Spielberg edited one while shooting the other), 
Jurassic Park (1993) looked like his insurance policy: 
a ground-breaking computer-generated imagery 
(CGI) spectacle with dinosaurs more lifelike than 
ever seen before. It was pure showmanship, and 
another colossal hit, but also a reminder that for 
all his technique, Spielberg has yet to invest his 
entertainments with the complexity and depth that, 
for example, Capra managed in It's a Wonderful Life 
(1946), or that proved second nature to Hitchcock. 
Artificial Intelligence: Al (2001 ) is arguably the closest 
he has come to reconciling the two sides of his 
work— the cerebral side that wants to be respected 
and the entertainer who needs to be loved. 



I 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Jaws (1975) 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1 977) 



Raiders of the Lost Ark (1 981 ) 



E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 



Jurassic Park (1993) 



Schindler's List (1993) 



Saving Private Ryan (1 998) 
Munich (2005) 



Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the 
Crystal Skull (2008) 



239 




Spielberg's Jurassic 

Par/c(1993), based 
on Michael Crichton's 
novel The Lost World, 
heralded a special 
effects revolution. 



240 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



Josef von Sternberg 

BORN 1894 DIED 1969 
NATIONALITY Austrian 
CAREER 1925-1957 FILMS 22 

GENRE Melodrama 



The iconographic figure of Marlene Dietrich was 
created by Josef von Sternberg (Jonas Sternberg). 
She appeared as the eternal femme fatale in seven 
of his films, which are among the most sensuous, 
bizarre, exotic, and unnaturalistic works in film. 

In 1927, von Sternberg made Underworld, one 
of the few silent films to deal with organized crime, 
and The Docks of New York (1928), which treated 
urban squalor with poetic realism, achieved by 
soft, shadowy lighting (von Sternberg's trademark). 





□ Film poster, 1932 



In The Salvation Hunters (1925), his first film, 
von Sternberg states, "It is not conditions, nor 
is it environment— our faith controls our lives!" 
This is certainly true of his own life. 

Born in an impoverished family of Orthodox 
Jews, von Sternberg spent his childhood in 
hunger and most of his teens on the streets. This 
experience is reflected in his filmmaking, which 
explores the motivations and faith of his characters. 
The Last Command (1928)— with Emil Jannings as 
exiled Russian General Dolgorucki who is forced 
to become an extra in a Hollywood film about the 
Russian Revolution— sets up a strange double 
image between the exotic Russian past and the 
present studio set. Jannings also had a masochistic 
role as Immanuel Rath, a professor caught in the 
clutches of cabaret singer Lola, in The Blue Angel 
[Der Blaue Engel, 1 930), the film in which the world 
discovered Dietrich. Conjured up by make-up, wigs, 
costumes, and the subtle play of light and shadow, 
Dietrich next appeared as Amy Jolly in Morocco 
(1930), Spy X27 in Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Lily 
in Shanghai Express (1932), Helen Faraday in Blonde 
Venus (1932), Catherine the Great in The Scarlet 
Empress (1934), and Concha Perez in The Devil 
is a Woman (1935), inhabiting fantastic countries 
in these movies. The partnership between von 
Sternberg and Dietrich is as iconic as that of, say, 
Laurel and Hardy, or Gilbert and Sullivan. Nothing 
he did after he worked with Dietrich equaled 
these films, although The Saga ofAnatahan (1953) 
showed what von Sternberg could do with just 
a simple studio set and lighting. 

Von Sternberg (right) talks with cameraman Max 
Fabian and actors Conrad Nagel, Matthew Betz, and 
Renee Adoree on the set of Exquisite Sinner (1926), 
a film from which he was fired. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

The Blue Angel (1930) 
Morocco (1930) 
Dishonored (1931) 
Shanghai Express (1932) 
Blonde Venus [mi] 
The Scarlet Empress (1 934) 
The Devil is a Woman (1 935) 
The Saga ofAnatahan ( 1 953) 



ERICH VON STROHEIM 241 



Erich von Stroheim 

BORN 1885 DIED 1957 
NATIONALITY Austrian 
CAREER 1919-1933 FILMS 10 

GENRE Costume drama 

Only the first two films of the ten directed by 
Erich von Stroheim were released without studio 
interference. Yet, despite the vandalism committed 
on his art, he remains one of film's great figures. 

Born in Vienna to middle-class parents, 
Stroheim emigrated to the US and became an 
American citizen and an actor, adding the "von" to 
his name, and claiming to be an ex-army officer 
of noble descent. By playing a succession of brutal 
Prussian officers, he gained the title of "the man 
you love to hate." As a director, he was profligate 
with studio money (for example, he rebuilt a large 
part of Monte Carlo on the Universal backlot) so 
that Irving Thalberg, Head of Production, called 
him a "footage fetishist." But the luxury of the 
settings was essential to his vision of European 
decadence in his cynical, witty, erotic Ruritanian 
romances, rich in social and psychological detail. 
Queen Kelly (19 '29) is a truncated but delirious sado- 
masochistic masterpiece, starring silent movie 
diva Gloria Swanson. Even The Merry Widow (1925), 
based on Franz Lehar's operetta, has a whiff of 
decay amidst the romanticism. Unlike his other 
silent films, Greed (1924) was filmed almost entirely 




on location. In its two-and-half-hour version (cut 
down from ten hours), it remains a masterpiece. 
Soon after he was prevented from completing his 
only talkie, Walking Down Broadway (1 933)— re-shot 
and re-edited by director Alfred Werker— he left 
for France, where he spent the rest of his life as 
an actor. He returned to Hollywood briefly to act 
in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1 950). 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Blind Husbands (1919) 



Foolish Wives [mi] 



Greed (1924) 



The Merry Widow { 1925] 



The Wedding March (1928) 



G3 In Foolish Wives, 

(1922), von Stroheim 
is Sergius Karamzin, a 
Don Juan who swindles 
rich women. Maud 
George plays Princess 
Olga, his mistress and 
partner in crime. 



Queen Kelly (1929) 




Q The winner of 

a huge lottery, Trina 
(Zasu Pitts) becomes 
obsessed with the 
money in Greed (1924), 
throwing her own 
life, and the lives of 
people around her, 
into turmoil. 



242 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ Sullivan's Travels 

(1941), with Joel 
McCrea (as John Lloyd 
Sullivan) and Veronica 
Lake (as "The Girl"), 
has a clever script that 
feels contemporary 
even today. 



Preston Sturges 



BORN U 



DIED 1959 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1940-1955 FILMS 13 



GENRE Comedy 



The US of Preston Sturges is a giddy, corrupt, 
bustling country, full of eccentrics. The witty lines, 
visual gags, and comic timing form part of an acerbic 
view of American life, although his misanthropy is 
tempered with affection for his characters. 




Born Edmund Preston Biden (he changed his name 
to Sturges after his adoptive stepfather), Sturges 
worked as a screenwriter through the 1 930s, and 
was one of the first directors to write his own scripts 
(doing so for all his films). He won the Oscar for Best 
Original Screenplay in 1941 for The Great McGinty 

(1940) . In Sullivan's Travels (1941), a director of 
comedies wants a first-hand experience of poverty in 
order to make a serious drama. Over time, however, 
he realizes that making people laugh is his greatest 
triumph. Sturges' own mission to make people laugh 
was achieved in the screwball comedies The Lady Eve 

(1941) and The Palm Beach Story (19 '42). His satires 
on American small towns, The Miracle of Morgan's 
Creek (1 944) and Hail the Conquering Hero (1 944), 
exploit motherhood and patriotism for laughs. 



j WHAT TO WATCH 

The Lady Eve (1941) 



Sullivan's Travels (1941) 



The Palm Beach Story (1 942) 



The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1 944) 
Hail the Conquering Hero (1 944) 



□ Ignat Daniltsev 

(Aleksei) walks with 
his mother (Margarita 
Terekhova) in The 
Mirror (1975); his 
reflections as a dying 
man are poetically 
juxtaposed with 
Russian history. 



Andrei Tarkovsky 



BORN 1932 DIED 1986 



NATIONALITY Russian 



CAREER 1962-19 



FILMS 7 



GENRE Drama 



Andrei Tarkovsky made some of the most intensely 
personal and visually powerful statements to have 
come out of Eastern Europe for decades. 




His rich pictorial sense was already in evidence in 
his first feature, Ivan's Childhood [Ivanovo detstvo, 
1962), the story of an orphan boy working for the 
partisans during World War II. His mastery of the 
medium was further confirmed in Andrei Rublev 
[Andrey Rublyov, 1966). The film, through its 
portrayal of the great 1 5th-century icon painter, 
issues a rallying cry for the arts in the face of 
repression by authorities, and is a statement on 
the role of the artist. This measured, impressive 
parable of the artist's position in society was 
not allowed to be screened for some years by 
the Soviet authorities who felt it was too "dark." 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Ivan's Childhood (1962) 



Andrei Rublev ^966) 



Solaris (1972) 



The Mirror (1975) 



Sfa//cer(1979) 



The Sacrifice (1986) 



JACQUES TATI 243 



Jacques Tati 



BORN 1907 DIED 1982 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1949-1973 FILMS ( 



GENRE Comedy 



A brilliant observer of the absurdities of modern Life 
and idiosyncrasies of people, Jacques Tati restored 
the art of visual comedy, taking it to a different plane. 

Unlike the films of Chaplin and Keaton, Tati's 
comedies are not built around himself. However, 
he is a memorable comic figure as the tall, socially 
awkward Monsieur Hulot, whose presence triggers 
amusing incidents— for example, when he picks 
his way through a minefield of gadgets. Tati's films 
have little dialogue, but humor manifests itself 
in the body language of ordinary people, and in the 
meticulously organized sound effects. Mr. Huiot's 
Holiday [Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, 1 953) shows 
people on vacation with comic realism, while Mon 
Oncle (1958) and Playtime (1967) deal with the 
ridiculous aspects of the relationship of humans 
with machines and architecture. 




, WHAT TO WATCH 



Jour de fete (1949) 



Mr. Huiot's Holiday (1953) 



Mon Oncle (1958) 



Playtime (1967) 



□ Jacques Tati, 

as Monsieur Hulot, 
saunters by beach 
huts in a scene 
from Mr Huiot's 
Holiday (1953). 



Solaris [Solyaris, 1972)— remade by Steven 
Soderbergh in 2002— is a striking sci-fi film, which 
manages to be technologically convincing without 
relying on special effects. Tarkovsky approached 
a different kind of science fiction in Stalker (1 979), 
which tells of a nightmarish journey, through a 
forbidden wasteland, undertaken by the shaven- 
headed stalker of the title and his two companions. 



Shot in eerie sepia, the film haunts the mind long 
after it ends. The Mirror [Zerkalo, 1975) is full of 
dreamlike images evoking memories and fantasies 
of Tarkovsky 's private and public life in the form of 
a visual poem. His last film was The Sacrifice [Off ret, 
1986), a post-apocalyptic drama which had an 
unbroken ten-minute take of a burning house 
as its climax. 




□ Tarkovsky (left) 
directs Donatas 
Banionis who plays Kris 
Kelvin, a psychologist 
sent to examine bizarre 
events aboard a space 
station, in Solaris (1972). 




□ In Dogville (2003), 
an allegory offering 
multiple readings, 
Grace (Nicole Kidman) 
is a fugitive who finds 
shelter in a small town 
with the help of Tom 
Edison (Paul Bettany). 



Lars von Trier 



BORN 1956 



NATIONALITY Danish 



CAREER 1984- FILMS 14 



GENRE Drama 



The most famous Danish director since Carl 
Dreyer, Lars von Trier has as many fans as he 
has detractors. However, both would agree that 
he is an auteur with a strong personality. 



Von Trier's debut movie, The Element of Crime 
[Forbrydelsens element, 1984), was the first part 
of his "Europe in disintegration" trilogy, completed 
by Epidemic (1987) and Europa (1991). All were shot 
in a mixture of black-and-white and color, with 
an atmosphere of despair. 

Breaking the Waves (1996), von Trier's first 
English-language work— filmed like a home 
video— and Dancer in the Dark (2000), a musical 
about an East European woman who goes to the 
US with her son, were unashamedly melodramatic. 
Dogville (2003) and Man derlay (2005), set in an 
imaginary US, experimented with minimalist 
theatrical sets. The Idiots [Idioterne, 1998) set out 
successfully to shock audiences into accepting 
people with learning difficulties. 

[what to watch 

Epidemical) 



Europa (1991) 



Breaking the Waves (1996) 



The Idiots (1998) 



Dancer in the Dark (2000) 



Dogville (2003) 
Antichrist (2009) 




□ Julie Christie 

performs a double 
role as Clarrise/Linda 
M on tag in Fahrenheit 
451 (1966); the sci-fi 
parable set in a future 
dystopia was Truffaut's 
first work in color. 



Frangois Truffaut 



BORN 1932 DIED 1984 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1959-1983 FILMS 21 



GENRE Avant-garde 



Enthusiasm, lucidity, and freedom of expression 
characterize the films of Francois Truffaut, a leading 
force in the French NewWave (see pp. 42-43). 
Retaining a certain innocence, his films are 
snapshots of the French avant-garde. 

"Are films more important than life?" asks 
Jean-Pierre Leaud in Day for Night [La Nuit 
Americaine, 1973). For Truffaut, the answer must 
have been in the affirmative. The passion he felt 
for filmmaking communicated itself in his movies, 
which are full of cinematic allusions: Shoot the Piano 
Player [Tirez sur le pianiste, 1960) pays homage to 
American film noir, Jules and Jim [JulesetJim, 1962) 



alludes to Chaplin and Jean Renoir, and the The 
Bride Wore Black [La Mariee Etait en Noir, 1 968) 
is inspired by Hitchcock's work. However, Truffaut 
was no mere imitator— many of his films have 
an immediacy and freshness uncluttered by 
cine culture. This is best seen in his semi- 
autobiographical series of five films, with Jean- 
Pierre Leaud playing his alter ego Antoine Doinel. 
The 12-year-old Doinel is sent to reform school 
in The 400 Blows [Les Quatre Cents Coups, 1 959) -as 
Truffaut himself was. After a short entitled Antoine 
and Collette (1 962), the series follows Doinel as he 
grows older and falls in love in Stolen Kisses [Baisers 
Voles, 1968), marries and has a child in Bed & Board 
[Domicile Conjugal, 1970), and divorces and becomes 
a writer in Love on the Run [LAmouren Fuite, 1979). 
These seemingly lightweight films hide Truffaut's 
pain at the loss of youthful spontaneity and the 
difficulties of love. He demonstrated a wide range 
in terms of styles and subjects, from the futuristic 
nightmare of Fahrenheit 451 (1966) and the 19th- 



AGNES VARDA 245 



Agnes Varda 



BORN 1928 


NATIONALITY 


Belgian 


CAREER 1954- 


FILMS 16 


GENRE Docum 


entary 



In 1955, Agnes Varda, a photographer, made 
La Pointe-Courte, although she claimed to have 
scarcely ever been to the movies. The film gained 
her a reputation as "the mother of the French New 
Wave" (see pp. 42-43). Varda wrote, produced, and 
directed all her films, both fiction and documentary. 
Cleo from 5 to 7 [Cleo de5a7,1 962) observes two 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) 



Happiness (1965) 



One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977) 



Vagabond (1985) 



Jacquot de Nantes [ 1991) 
The Gleaners & I (2000) 



Les plages d'Agnes 

[The Beaches of Agnes, 2008) 



hours in the life of a spoiled nightclub singer as 
she waits for the medical verdict on whether she is 
to live or die. Every trivial incident takes on a new 
significance for her, and Paris is seen as if for the 
last (or first) time. One Sings, the Other Doesn't 
[L'Une Chante, I'Autre Pas, 1977) came out of Varda's 
involvement with the women's movement in 1 970s 
France. Eight years later, she made Vagabond 
[Sans Toitni Loi, 1985), one of her most successful 
features. In between her fiction films, Varda made 
imaginative documentaries, which were cine-poetic 
essays, including tributes to her late husband, 
director Jacques Demy. 




□ Sandrine Bonnaire 

plays Mona, the outcast 
in Vagabond [1985], 
which presents her as 
the epitome of the soul, 
free of social bondage. 



century period of The Story of Adele H [L'Histoire 
dAdele H, 1975), to France under Nazi occupation 
in The Last Metro [Le Dernier Metro, 1 980). 

□ On the set of Love on the Run (1978), the last 
in the Antoine Doinel series, Truffaut directs 
Claude Jade, who plays Doinel's wife Christine. 

I^WHAT TO WATCH 

The 400 Blows (1959) 

Shoot the Piano Player (1 960) 

Jules and Jim (19 62) 

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) 

The Bride Wore Black (1968) 

Stolen Kisses (1968) 

The Wild Child (1970) 

Bed & Board (1970) 

Day for Night (1973) 

The Green Room (1978) 




246 a-z OF DIRECTORS 



King Vidor 



BORN 1894 DIED 1982 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1919-1959 FILMS 53 



□ Film poster, 1937 




GENRE Drama, Melodrama, Costume drama 



King Vidor's name features in the Guinness 
Book of World Records as the filmmaker with 
the Longest career, spanning 67 years and more 
than 50 films, and his dominant personality 
is stamped on many of them. 

The Big Parade (1925) was one 
of the first films to deal with the 
horrors of World War I. It also began 
"a series of films depicting episodes 
in the lives of the average American 
man and woman." In The Crowd 
(1928), John and Mary (played 
by James Murray and Eleanor 
Boardman) are a couple newly 
arrived in New York, whose high 



hopes are soon dashed by unemployment and 
poverty. Hallelujah! (1929), Vidor's first film with 
sound, was an all-black musical, shot on location 
in Tennessee and Arkansas, that retained the visual 
poetry of silent film. His technical virtuosity is 
apparent in films as varied as Stella Dallas (1937), 
a melodrama starring Barbara Stanwyck; the 
Western Duel in the Sun (1946), with Jennifer Jones; 
and the epic War and Peace (1956), for which Audrey 
Hepburn was nominated for several awards. 



| WHAT TO WATCH 

The Big Parade (1925) 
The Crowd (1928) 



Hallelujah! (1929) 



The Champ (1931) 



Our Daily Bread (1934) 



Stella Dallas (1937) 



Duel in the Sun (1946) 



The Fountainhead (1949) 



War and Peace (1956) 



□ The pillow fight 
sequence in Zero for 
Conduct (1933) is shot 
in slow motion; the 
film showcases Vigo's 
talent for mixing 
social commentary 
with unique imagery. 



Jean Vigo 



BORN 1905 DIED 1934 



NATIONALITY French 



CAREER 1933-1934 FILMS 2 



GENRE Drama 



Few other directors with such a short filmography 
have had such a profound influence on other 
filmmakers as Jean Vigo. 




The son of an anarchist who died in prison in 1917, 
Jean Vigo (Jean Bonaventure de Vigo Almereyda) 
inherited his father's anti-authoritarian ideas. In 
Zero for Conduct {Zero de Conduite, 1 933), set 
in a dreadful boarding school, four boys organize 
an uprising. The film, based on Vigo's own childhood 
experiences, presents a child's-eye view of authority, 
with adults seen as perverse, hypocritical, and 
oppressive members of the establishment. The 
most celebrated sequence is the dormitory pillow 
fight that becomes a snowy wonderland of feathers 
in which a mock Catholic procession is enacted. Its 
influence on Truffaut and Godard is noticeable and 
it was a direct inspiration for Lindsay Anderson's 
If... (1968). Vigo died of tuberculosis at 29, soon 
after the premiere of LAtalante (1 934), an exquisite 
tale of a young man who takes his bride to live on 
a barge that travels the canals around Paris. 

WHAT TO WATCH 



Apropos de Nice (1930) 



Zero for Conduct (1933) 



LAtalante (1934) 




Luchino Visconti 



BORN 1906 DIED 1976 



NATIONALITY Italian 



CAREER 1942-1976 FILMS 14 



GENRE Drama, Spectacle 



Aristocrat, Marxist, neorealist, theater and opera 
director fond of a decadent Lifestyle, Luchino 
Visconti was a man of contradictions, a fact that 
was reflected in his work. 

Despite being a Marxist, Visconti was always 
attracted by European bourgeois art. "Art is 
ambiguous. It is ambiguity made science," says 
a character in Death in Venice [Morte a Venezia, 
1971). Visconti was both repelled by and drawn to 
a decaying society, depicting it in loving detail. In 
The Leopard III Gattopardo, 1963), Prince Salina 
of Sicily reflects sadly on the death of the aristocratic 
world; Ludwig II of Bavaria (Helmut Berger) in 
Ludwig (1 972) fights against the philistines who 



cannot appreciate Richard Wagner's genius; and 
in Death in Venice, cholera threatens to sweep 
away the luxury of the Hotel des Bains on the Lido. 
Although he gained a reputation as a neorealist, 
only La Terra Trema (1948) actually comes close 
to the neorealist (see box, p. 286) ideal in its picture 
of the wretched conditions of Sicilian fishermen, 
shot in real locations with local people enacting 
their stories. It is through the conventions of 
opera that Visconti worked best, as in the lush 
Verdian spectacle of Senso (1954). Rocco and his 
Brothers [Rocco e i suoi fratelli, 1960), which tells 
of a family who escape the poor South, is Visconti's 
attempt to return to neorealism, despite the film's 
operatic dimensions. 



| WHAT TO WATCH 

Ossessione (1942) 



La Terra Trema (1948) 



Senso (1954) 



Rocco and his Brothers ( 1 960) 



The Leopard (1963) 



Death in Venice (1971) 

The Innocent [U I nnocente, 197 6) 




Q Lucilla Morlacchi (as 

Concetta) and Claudia 
Cardinale (as Angelica) 
star in the stunningly 
shot and designed The 
Leopard (19 63), which 
is set in the Italy of 
the 1800s. 



□ Dirk Bogarde 

delivers one of his 
finest performances as 
Gustav von Aschenbach, 
an aging composer 
who is forced to take a 
convalescent vacation in 
Death in Venice (1971). 



248 



□ ln/Cafyn(2007), 

Maja Ostaszewska 
plays Anna, a Polish 
woman who loses her 
husband in the Katyn 
forest massacre. 




r 



m 



Andrzej Wajda 



BORN 1926 



NATIONALITY Polish 



CAREER 1954- FILMS 34 



GENRE Costume drama, War 



In the 1 950s, Andrzej Wajda's war trilogy became 
the voice of disaffected post-war youth. A generation 
later, Wajda was once again the voice of a Poland 
struggling to survive political and economic turmoil. 

Wajda's war trilogy— A Generation (1 955), Canal 
(1 957), and Ashes and Diamonds (1 958)— were bitter, 
anti-romantic World War II films. Censorship in 
the 1960s and 1970s, forced him to adapt Polish 



WHAT TO WATCH 



A Generation [Pokolenie, 1954) 
Canal [Kanal, 1957) 



Ashes and Diamonds [Popiol i Diament, 1 958) 



Innocent Sorcerers ( 1 960) 



Siberian Lady Macbeth (1961) 



Landscape After Battle ( 1 970) 



Man of Marble [Czlowiek z Marmuru, 1 976) 
Man of Iron [Czlowiek z Zelaza, 1 981 ) 



Danton (1983) 



Katyn (2007) 



Tatarak (2009) 



allegorical novels, but even in these, he subtly 
alluded to contemporary Poland. When censorship 
was relaxed, he returned to the political subjects of 
the immediate past. Man of Marble (1977) tells the 
story of the life of a worker-hero of the 1950s who 
falls from official favor. Its sequel, Man of Iron 
(1981), was about the struggle for solidarity. 



Orson Welles 



BORN 1916 DIED 1985 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1941-1975 FILMS 14 



GENRE Film noir, Drama 



□ Film poster, 1947 



The idea that Orson Welles could never 
direct a film to match the achievement 
of Citizen Kane (1941) still persists. But 
few Hollywood directors can boast of 
a finer oeuvre. 

Had Welles been a conformist, he 
might have been more successful— 
but his greatness would have been 
diminished. Citizen Kane (1941), his 
first full-length feature, went against 
the conventions of chronological narratives and 
techniques of filmmaking. In F for Fake (1973), 
Welles tells anecdotes about art forgers with 
relish, demonstrating that "Art is the lie that 
makes us see the truth." Who, then, is a storyteller 
but a great liar? In the splendid comic poem and 
historical epic, Chimes at Midnight (1965), 



Falstaff— one of the great liars of literature— is 
given dignity by Welles' portrayal. In The Immortal 
Story (1 968), a wealthy merchant wishes to make 
a popular sailor's myth come true. Power is a 
sustaining motif of Welles' work, as evidenced 
in Citizen Kane, Macbeth (1948), Othello (1952), 
and Confidential Report (1955). A struggle for 
dominance is central to The Lady from Shanghai 
(1947) and Touch of Evil (1958). Even though RKO 
cut The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), the film 
remains a haunting portrait of a family in decline 
in the late 19th century. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Citizen Kane (1941) 



The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 



The Lady from Shanghai ( 1 947) 



Macbeth []9A8] 



Othello [1952] 



Confidential Report (1 955) 



Touch of Ew7( 1958) 
Chimes at Midnight ( 1 965) 



WIM WENDERS 249 



William Wellman 



BORN 1896 DIED 1975 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1923-1958 FILMS 76 



GENRE Various 



Although William Wellman's name is most often 
associated with action pictures, gaining him a 
reputation for working mainly with men, he brought 
his expertise to bear on a range of genres in the 
best Hollywood manner. 

Wellman earned the nickname "Wild Bill" for 
his impatience with actors, his devil-may-care 
personality, and his spell as a pilot in World War I. 
He drew on his wartime experiences for Men With 
Wings (1938), about the pioneers of flight; Lafayette 
Escadrille (1958), with his son playing himself; and 
Wings (1 927), the first movie to win an Oscar for 
Best Picture and one of the best flight films ever. 
Other than the he-man epics, such as The Call of 
the Wild (1935), Beau Geste (1939), and Buffalo Bill 
(1 944), there was also Wild Boys of the Road (1 933), 
a deeply felt story of young people hopping trains 
during the Great Depression. His original A Starts 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Wings [mi] 



The Public Enemy (1 931 ) 



Wild Boys of the Road[ 1933) 

The Call of the Wild (1935) 

A Star Is Born (1937) 

Nothing Sacred (1 937] 

Beau Geste (1939) 

Roxie Hart (1942) 

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) 




The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) 



The High and the Mighty ( 1 954) 



Born (1937) says more about Hollywood than its 
two remakes. Nothing Sacred (1937) is a hilarious, 
fast-paced satire; Roxie Hart (1942) is a cynical 
1920s spoof (remade as Chicago, 2002); and Magic 
Town (1 947) is a Capra-esque comedy set in a small 
US town. Wellman also directed five movies with 
Barbara Stanwyck. It was thanks to him that Robert 
Mitchum became a star with the semi-documentary 
The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) and James Cagney found 
stardom with The Public Enemy (1 931 ). 



□ Film poster, 1937 



Wim Wenders 



BORN 1945 



NATIONALITY German 



CAREER 1970- FILMS 27 



GENRE Drama, Musical 



Wim Wenders is deeply aware of America's cultural 
influence on post-war Germany, and his films, 
whether made in the US or Germany, reflect this. 

"The Yanks have colonized our subconscious," 
says a German character in Kings of the Road [lm 
Lauf derZeit, 1976), Wenders' complex, subtly 
comic road movie. His films neither condemn 
nor wholly embrace this idea. His characters are 
isolated and emotionally stunted— but when they 
take to the road, change becomes inevitable. The 
superbly photographed, leisurely odysseys reach 
metaphysical dimensions, as in Paris, Texas (1984), 
his greatest international success. He returned to 
the theme in Don't Come Knocking (2005). 




i 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Alice in the Cities (1973) 



Kings of the Road[ 1976) 



The American Friend (1977) 



Paris, Texas (1984) 



Wings of Desire (1987) 



Buena Vista Social Club (1 999) 
Don't Come Knocking (2005) 



□ Nicholas Ray, 

the renowned director, 
plays Derwatt in The 
American Friend (1 977), 
a thriller in which a 
terminally ill picture 
framer is forced to 
become an assasin. 



250 A Z OF DIRECTORS 



E3 Margaret (Gloria 
Stuart) and her 
companions 
discover the dark 
secrets of an old 
mansion inhabited 
by an odd family in 
Whale's Gothic 
pastiche, The Old 
Dark House (1932). 



rir - ^ 





James Whale 



BORN 18 



DIED 1957 



NATIONALITY British 



CAREER 1930-1941 FILMS 20 



GENRE Horror, Musical 



The name of James Whale is almost always linked 
with Frankenstein's monster, which he brought to 
life in two horror film classics. 

After staging R.C. Sherriff's play, Journey's End, 
on Broadway, Whale was invited to Hollywood in 
1930 to depict this World War I drama on film. His 
triumph came with his third feature, Frankenstein 
(1931), for which he chose his compatriot Boris 
Karloff to play the title role. On the whole, Whale 
preferred to work with British actors: Charles 
Laughton in The Old Dark House (1932), Claude 
Rains in The Invisible Man (1933), and Elsa 
Lanchester in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). It 
is perhaps his "Englishness" that frees his horror 
films, which are full of self-mocking humor, from 
the Germanic expressionism (see box, p. 259) usually 
associated with early examples of the genre. He 
moved smoothly from Frankenstein to Hammerstein 
with Show Boat (1936), which was the best of the 
three versions of this movie. Interest in Whale 
revived when his life story became the subject 
of Bill Condon's Gods and Monsters (1998). 



WHAT TO WATCH 



Frankenstein (1931) 



The Old Dark House [mi] 



The Invisible Man (1933) 



The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 



Show Boat (1936) 



Billy Wilder 



□ Film poster, 1935 



BORN 1906 DIED 2002 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1933-1981 FILMS 26 



GENRE Comedy, Romance, Film noir 



The films of Billy Wilder, which emphasize the 
importance of dialogue and the structuring of 
plots, derive from the satiric Viennese theater, 
the witty elegance of Ernst Lubitsch, and the 
harsher screwball comedies of the 1 930s. 

Austrian-born Wilder began his Hollywood 
career writing films for Lubitsch and Mitchell 
Leisen in the 1930s. A writer, director, and producer, 
he made highly successful films in varying genres 
over the course of his long Hollywood career, 
receiving an incredible eight Academy Award 
nominations as Best Director (second only to 
William Wyler who had 12). Wilder was also 
nominated 12 times for his screenplays, which 
he usually co-wrote, first with Charles Brackett, 
and, from 1957, with I.A.L. Diamond. 

The "Lubitsch Touch"— the unique style and 
cinematic trademark of Ernst Lubitsch— is at play 
in Wilder's directorial debut The Major and the Minor 
(1942), in which working girl Susan (Ginger Rogers) 
pretends to be 1 2 years old to save on her train fare. 
The three acerbic comedies set in Germany— A 
Foreign Affair (1948) in a Berlin ravaged by war; 
Stalag 17 (1 953) in a prisoner-of-war camp; and 
One, Two, Three (1961) in a Berlin divided by the 
Wall— are also compassionate and extremely funny. 



1 

c — 

1 m9 m im 



□ Humphrey Bogart, in an unusual romantic role 
as the serious Linus, succumbs to the charms of 
Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) in Sabrina (1954). 




Some Like It Hot (1 959), a Prohibition-era gangster 
spoof, is widely considered to be one of the funniest 
films ever. In 1944, Wilder moved into the newly 
emerging genre of film noir with Double Indemnity, 
a dark and pessimistic thriller portrayed with acid 
humor. The Lost Weekend (1945), one of the first 
films to deal seriously with alcoholism, is another 
grim and gripping depiction. 

Wilder's critically acclaimed films often 
reveal a romantic's bitterness that comes from 
disappointment— that life is not perfect, love is 
thwarted, people can be avaricious and cruel, and 
the world is not improving. This is sensed in Sunset 
Boulevard (1950), the glorious swan song of silent 
screen star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who 
dementedly thinks she is making a comeback. "I'm 
still big, it's the pictures that got small," she tells 
Joe Gillis (Holden), a world-weary screenwriter. 

There are a number of heartless heroes in his 
work, such as the sensation-seeking reporter 
Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) in Ace in the Hole 
(1951), the slick insurance agent Walter Neff in 
Double Indemnity (1944), and the weak, exploitative 
businessman J.D. Sheldrake in The Apartment 
(1960), both played by Fred MacMurray. Others are 
Dino, Dean Martin's self-parodic crooner in Kiss 
Me, Stupid (1 964), and Walter Matthau's crooked 
lawyer Willie Gingrich in The Fortune Cookie (1966). 
Wilder's attitude to them is condemnatory, and his 
tenderness is reserved for the female characters. 



Audrey Hepburn portrays all that is good in life as 
she tries to choose between the Larrabee brothers 
(Humphrey Bogart and William Holden) in Sabrina 
(1954), and when she is painfully smitten by middle- 
aged playboy Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper) in Love 
in the Afternoon (1957). Marilyn Monroe is depicted 
as alluring but innocent, saving Richard (Tom Ewell) 
from adultery in The Seven Year Itch (1955), and 
poignantly tells "Josephine" (Tony Curtis in drag) 
how much she loves Joe (Curtis in pants) in Some 
Like It Hot, while Shirley MacLaine is rescued by C.C. 
Baxter (Jack Lemmon) in The Apartment (1960). 
Fedora (1978), about an aging and reclusive star, 
explores a plot similar to that of Sunset Boulevard. 
Both these films record a changing Hollywood. 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

The Major and the Minor (1 942) 
Double Indemnity ( 1 944) 



The Lost Weekend (19 45) 



Sunset Boulevard [ 1950) 



Ace in the Ho/e(1951) 



Stalag 77(1953) 



Sabrina (1954) 

Some Like It Hof (1959) 



The Apartment (1960) 



One, Two, Three (1961) 



251 



□ A scene from 
Sunset Boulevard 

(1950), Wilder's 
hard-hitting, cynical 
take on the vagaries 
of show business, 
with Gloria Swanson 
as Norma and William 
Holden as Joe Gillis. 




D Film poster, 1955 



A-Z OF DIRECTORS 



□ Aboard a mysterious 
imaginary train in 2046 

(2004) is an android 
played by Faye Wong. 
She is also cast as 
Wang Jing-wen p 
the daughter of the 
Landlord in whose 
building the protagonist 
(Chow Mo-wan) lives. 



E3 In My Blueberry 
Nights (2007), Natalie 
Portman plays an 
inveterate poker 
player who loses 
all of her money. 



Wong KarWai 



BORN 1958 



NATIONALITY Chinese 



CAREER 19 



FILMS 10 



GENRE Avant-garde, Romance 



One of the most original directors to emerge at the 
end of the 20th century, Wong Kar Wai belongs to 
the Second NewWave of Hong Kong filmmakers 
who have developed an innovative, non-realistic 
approach to films. 

Wong's films have dazzling images (usually of 
Hong Kong) with multi-layered, intricately structured 
plots. Added to this is mood and atmosphere, with 
nostalgic popular music on the soundtrack and 
alienated lovelorn characters. Wong achieved 
most of his cinematic effects with the assistance 




of cinematographer Chris Doyle, and actors William 
Chang, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, and Tony 
Leung. He consistently employs parallel narratives, 
where characters arbitrarily cross paths, a technique 
at its most extreme in Chungking Express [Chung 
Hing sam lam, 1 994), which shows his mastery 
over two separate storylines. The Hong Kong of the 
1960s is Wong's favorite setting. Days of Being Wild 
[A Feijingjyuhn, 1991), set in 1960, explores the 
fears of the territory's handover to China. His most 
approachable film, In the Mood for Love [Fayeung 
nin wa, 2000), also takes place in the 1960s, while 
2046 (2004) alternates between the 1960s and an 
imagined future in 2046. In all these films, he asks 
audiences to abandon their customary ideas of 
time and space. The ironically titled Happy Together 
[Chun gwong cha sit, 1 997), about the stormy affair 
of two men, is one of his few films shot outside 
China, in Argentina and Taiwan. 

^WHAT TO WATCH 

Ashes of Time (1994) 



Chungking Express (1 994) 



Fallen Angels (1995) 



Happy Together (1997) 



In the Mood for Love (2000) 



2046 (2004) 



My Blueberry Nights (2007) 



WILLIAM WYLER 253 



William Wyler 



BORN 1902 DIED 1981 



NATIONALITY American 



CAREER 1926-1970 FILMS 45 



GENRE Drama, Epic, Costume drama, Musical 

The films of William Wyler are usually sturdy and 
tasteful entertainments that probe ethical issues, 
and a number of them have won Academy Awards. 

Coming to Hollywood in 1924, German-born 
Wyler worked his way up from prop boy to director 
of dozens of short Westerns, each made in a few 
days. Following these, he worked painstakingly, 
earning the nickname "99-take Wyler." His 
reputation as a filmmaker of quality dates from his 
first encounter with cinematographer Gregg Toland 
on These Three (1936), Wyler's first version of 
Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour. (He 
remade it in 1961 when he was able to mention 
lesbianism.) Toland's camerawork, especially his 
deep-focus photography, gave Wyler's films a 
definition they might not otherwise have had. 
Producer Samuel Goldwyn helped him with some 
of his best work, in Dodsworth (1936) and Wuthering 
Heights (1939). Other Goldwyn productions are 
Dead End (1 937), a social drama about juvenile 



crime in New York, and The Little Foxes 
(1941), a lush Hellman drama with Bette 
Davis. Wyler also directed Davis excellently 
in Jezebe/ (1938) and The Letter (1940). The 
Best Years of Our Lives (1946), a moving and 
revealing portrait of post-war America, 
follows the lives of three soldiers on their 
return to civilian life, each representing a 
different armed service and social class. 
The film won seven Oscars. Wyler's meticulous style 
filled the canvases of Friendly Persuasion (1956), 
a tale of a Quaker family forced to take up arms 
during the Civil War; The Big Country (1 958), a 
vast anti-Western; and the epic Ben-Hur (1959). 

|WHAT TO WATCH 

Jezefce/(1938) 




O Film poster, 1946 



The Little Foxes (1941) 



Mrs. M/mVer (1942) 



The Best Years of Our Lives (1 946) 



Roman Holiday (1953) 



Friendly Persuasion ( 1 956) 



The Big Country [] 958) 



Ben-Hur [WW] 



Funny Girl (19 68) 




□ Bette Davis is 

the tempestuous 
heroine Julie and Henry 
Fonda is Preston— an 
engaged couple about 
to break up— in the 
compelling period 
drama Jezebel (1938). 




1L 




To 



INTRODUCTION 257 



It is never easy to make a definitive list of "must-see" films, 
since it will always be subjective. However, the movies in 
this section have delighted, moved, or educated audiences 
of all ages, all over the world. They have changed our 
perceptions, and have left an indelible mark on film history. 



The choice of movies in this section was 
guided by various criteria. Although there 
are a few relatively recent films— up-to-date, 
instant classics— the majority have been 
included because they have stood the test 
of time. Besides those that are part of "the 
canon"— films that appear regularly on 
historians' and critics' all-time best lists 
and are an essential part of any Film Studies 
course— there are audience favorites as well. 

This section features silent masterpieces, 
from The Birth of a Nation (1 91 5) to The 
Passion of Joan of Arc (1928); comedies, from 
City Lights (1 931 ) to Women on the Verge of 
a Nervous Breakdown (1988); and musicals, 
ranging from 42nd Street (1933) to The Sound 
of Music (1965). There are horror movies, 
such as Nosferatu (1922); cartoons, from the 
hand-drawn Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
(1937) to the computer-animated Toy Story 
(1995); science fiction films [Star Wars, 1977, 
naturally); and Westerns {Unforgiven, 1992). 

Among the films that are automatically on 
any list of "greats" are those that, regardless 
of personal likes and dislikes, have had a 
seminal effect on film history for both technical 

□ Ziyi Zhang plays Jiao Long, an impetuous and 
physically skilled nobleman's daughter in Crouching 
Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee's hit film of 2000. 



and aesthetic reasons, such as The Cabinet 
of Dr. CaligariimO), Napoleon (1927), 
Citizen Kane (1941), Bicycle Thieves (1948), 
and Breathless (1960). Others have been 
significant in less obvious ways like His Girl 
Friday (1940), LAvventura (1960), Easy Rider 
(1969), 7ax/Dr/Ver(1976),and^nn/eHa//(1977). 

The list has been limited to one film per 
director, mainly because it would be only 
too simplistic to come up with 100 films that 
included only works by great directors, such 
as Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Luis 
Buhuel, Federico Fellini, John Ford, Jean 
Renoir, Akira Kurosawa, and Billy Wilder. 

Any of the films we have chosen to represent 
the directors above could be replaced by 
another: North By Northwest (1959), Psycho 
(1960), or Rear Window (1954) instead of 
Vertigo (1958); Wild Strawberries (1957) or 
Persona (1966) in place of The Seventh Seal 
(1957). John Ford, the maestro of the Western, 
is represented by The Grapes of Wrath (1940), 
a non-Western. Is Rashomon (1950) better than 
The Seven Samurai (1 954)? Is Some Like It Hot 
(1959) better than The Apartment (1960)? One 
could make a strong case either way. 

It was from this embarrassment of riches 
that we have made a final selection of our 
top 100 movies. 



258 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Film poster, 1915 



□ In The Birth of a 
Nation, Lillian Gish 
plays Elsie Stoneman, 
the virginal heroine 
who is rescued from 
a "fate worse than 
death" by the newly 
formed Ku Klux Klan, 
led by her lover. 



The Birth of a Nation 

DIRECTOR D.W.Griffith 
RELEASED 1915 

The Birth of a Nation was a landmark in the 
development of motion pictures and remains 
one of the most controversial films ever made. 
The epic story follows two families on opposite 
sides during and immediately after the American 
Civil War. 

At over three hours long, the scale of The Birth of 
a Nation was unprecedented in American film till 
then. All of the innovations of D.W. Griffith's earlier 
work— cross-cutting, close-ups, dissolves, and 
fades— reached maturity in this picture. One of 
its achievements was to integrate an intimate 
story within the progression of dramatically 
reconstructed historical events— for example, 
the assassination of President Lincoln and the 
swirling mass of soldiers on the battlefields. 
Apparently, Griffith wrote no script, carrying 



the film's complex structure in his head. However, 
much of the latter part of the film (in which slaves 
gain freedom; the hero forms the Ku Klux Klan; 
and a black man pursues a white virgin who kills 
herself rather than succumb to his attentions) 
was, even in 1915, considered by many to be 
racially offensive. As a result, the National 
Association for the Advancement of Colored 
People (NAACP) picketed and boycotted the film. 
Despite its racism, the film is acknowledged by 
many as a technical masterpiece. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Epoch Producing Corporation 


Producer 


D.W. Griffith 


Screenplay 


D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods, 




Thomas Dixon Jr., based on 




Dixon's novels The Clansman 




and The Leopard's Spots 


Cinematography 


G.W. "Billy" Bitzer 





259 




The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 



DIRECTOR Robert Wiene 



RELEASED 1920 



Adapting its style from painting and the theater, 
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [Das Kabinett des Doktor 
Caligari) was considered the first true example 
of expressionism in film (see box). It had an 
important influence on German films in the decade 
after its release, and on horror movies in general. 

Caligari (Werner Krauss), a fairground showman, 
hypnotizes his servant Cesare (Conrad Veidt) to 
commit murders in his sleep. The somnambulist 
carries off Jane (Lil Dagover), the girlfriend of the 
hero Francis (Friedrich Feher), though ultimately 
doesn't kill her because of her beauty. The film, 
meant as a metaphor for World War I, has Caligari 
representing a government that controls the will of 
its people. However, the "twisty" ending shows him 
as the benign director of a lunatic asylum, with 
Francis a patient who has actually imagined the 
whole story. The distorted sets and grotesquely 
angled photography create a nightmarish 



atmosphere, a style that became known as 
"Caligarism." The film had a direct impact on 
James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride 
of Frankenstein (1935), and influenced many later 
works, including those of Tim Burton, who 
modeled Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands 
on Veidt's character of the mesmerized slave. 

|german expressionism 

Expressionism was a movement in the 
graphic arts, literature, drama, and film 
that flourished in Germany between 1903-33. 
In film, the movement was characterized by 
the extreme stylization of sets, acting, lighting, 
and camera angles. Most of the major German 
directors of the silent period were influenced 
by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. 



CREDITS 



Producer 



Erich Pommer for Decla 



Screenplay 



Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz 




Set Design 
Cinematography 



Walter Rohrig, Hermann 
Warm, Walter Reiman 

Willy Hameister 



□ The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was the classic 
expressionist film in Germany. The style 
inspired a series of horror fantasies known 
as "shadow films." 



□ The deliberately 
distorted perspective of 

the sets have an almost 
hypnotic effect on the 
audience, reflecting 
Caligari s control over 
his servant Cesare. 



E3 The film's feeling of 

terror is centered on 
the spectral, gaunt 
figure of Max Schreck's 
Vampire, who creeps 
through the film with 
menacing authority. 




Nosferatu: A Symphony 
of Terror 

DIRECTOR F.W. Murnau 
RELEASED 1922 

The film that marked the first appearance of the 
vampire Dracula on screen remains the eeriest 
and most magicai of the multitude of movie 
versions of this supernatural tale. 

F.W. Murnau made his debut as a film director 
in 1919,andayear later, The Cabinet of Dr. Caiigari 
(see p. 259) was released. He was clearly much 
influenced by that seminal work. However, unlike 



the stylized sets of the earlier film, much of 
Nosferatu was shot on location in Germany, with its 
Gothic atmosphere created by chiaroscuro lighting— 
a technique from the field of painting, in which the 
contrast between dark and light areas in an image 
is heightened (see box, p. 99). Murnau also used 
special effects, speeding up the frames and using 
negative film to evoke a ghostly carriage ride. 
Murnau plundered Stoker's 1897 novel without 
permission and an action for breach of copyright 
was brought against him, but Nosferatu has 
become accepted as a classic of the horror genre. 



["credits 


Production 


Prana Film 


Producer 


Albin Grau, Enrico Dieckmann 


Screenplay 


Hanrik Galeen, based on Bram 




Stoker's Dracula (uncredited) 


Cinematography 


Fritz Arno Wagner 




□ Nyla, Nanook's 
wife, carries her son 
through the bleak Arctic 
landscape. Nanook 
died of starvation two 
years after Flaherty 
filmed him. 



Nanook of the North 

DIRECTOR Robert J. Flaherty 
RELEASED 1922 

Robert J. Flaherty's Nanook of the North had a 
great effect on the evolution of the documentary 
film. The movie's strength lies in its basis in reality 
and in the unprecedented rapport between its Inuit 
subjects and the man behind the camera. 



In order to make this extraordinary account of 
hardship and endurance, Flaherty spent 16 months 
living with the Inuit of Canada's Hudson Bay. He 
concentrated on a year in the everyday life of a 
family— Nanook, his wife Nyla, and their children- 
depicting activities such as trading, fishing, hunting, 
and the construction of an igloo. However, Flaherty 
directed them to re-enact their roles for the 
camera, including a scene in which a walrus is 
hunted. To be able to shoot inside an igloo, he 
had the dwelling built at twice the average size, 
with half of it cut away to permit sunlight to enter. 
Dubious as this sounds, such techniques allowed 
Flaherty to convey the drama and the struggle 
underlying the daily existence of the Inuit people, 
depicting a way of life threatened by encroaching 
civilization. It was a new approach to the 
presentation of reality on film, ennobling 
its subjects rather than exploiting them. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Revillon Freres 


Producer 


Robert J. Flaherty 


Screenplay 


Robert J. Flaherty 


Cinematography 


Robert J. Flaherty 



THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN 261 



The Battleship Potemkin 

DIRECTOR Sergei Eisenstein 
RELEASED 1925 



Soviet film and Sergei Eisenstein were brought to 
international attention by this magnificent film. 
Although full of dramatic scenes, it swirls around 
a central denouement that is universally known as 
the "Odessa Steps" sequence— one of the most 
memorable and exciting pieces ever produced. 

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1905 
Revolution, The Battleship Potemkin focuses on an 
incident in which the crew of a battleship at Odessa 
mutinies rather than eat rotting food. The leader of 
the protest is fatally shot by an officer, prompting 
hundreds of civilians to pay homage to the dead 
man and lend their support to the mutiny. As many 
of them gather on the Odessa Steps to wave to the 
ship, they are mown down by the government troops. 
The soldiers march down a seemingly endless flight 
of steps, advancing on the fleeing citizens, the 
rhythm of their marching feet contrasting with the 
fall of injured and dying people, including a small boy 
trampled underfoot and an elderly woman shot in 
the face. With its rhythmic collision and contrast of 




□ A Russian poster 

for the film is a fine 
example of the 
particular graphic style 
of the Soviet period, 
which was known as 
structuralism. 



images, the film was a splendid demonstration of 
Eisenstein's theory of montage (see p. 201 ). What 
is sometimes forgotten, perhaps because of the 
film's revolutionary style, is that The Battleship 
Potemkin tells an exciting narrative through 
well-rounded characters. 



CREDITS 



Studio 


Goskino 


Producer 


Jacob Bliokh 


Screenplay 


Sergei Eisenstein, 




Nina Agadzhanova 


Cinematography 


Vladimir Popov, Edouard Tisse 



The "Odessa Steps" 

sequence shows the 
horrifying moment 
when a stroller hurtles 
down the steps toward 
certain destruction. 



262 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ The futuristic sets 

created for Metropolis 
are still impressive 
decades after the film 
was made. Mirrors 
were used to create 
illusions, including 
the flying machine 
that glided between 
the huge buildings. 




□ A German poster 

shows the robot 
against the cityscape. 
Metropolis pioneered 
the use of science 
fiction to comment on 
contemporary society. 




Metropolis 



DIRECTOR Fritz Lang 



RELEASED 1927 



The visual legacy of Fritz Lang's Metropolis can 
be seen in a number of movies, from The Bride 
of Frankenstein (1935) to the Batman movies 
via Modern Times (1936), the Star Wars cycle, 
and Blade Runner (1 982). The film's technical 
innovations influenced a number of Hollywood 
films of the 1930s and 1940s. 

Set in a futuristic city, Metropolis tells the 
story of downtrodden factory workers (living 
underground), who are made to rebel against their 
masters by a malign robot created in the image 
of a saintly girl. Lang was given an unprecedented 
budget to create huge, realistic sets, inspired by the 
New York skyline, that anticipated the 21st century. 
To achieve futuristic effects, lighting cameraman 
Eugen Schufftan introduced the Schufftan process, 
which combined life-size action with models 



or artwork. Despite its ending— in which "Capital" 
and "Labor" are reconciled by the love of the 
factory owner's son (Gustav Frohlich) for a working 
girl (Brigitte Helm)— Metropolis can be seen as 
an allegory of totalitarianism. 

In 1 984, composer Giorgio Moroder added 
a rock music score to the film, and tinted and 
optically enhanced several sequences, through 
which Lang's masterly control continues to 
astonish audiences. 



CREDITS 


Studio 


UFA 


Producer 


Erich Pommer 


Screenplay 


Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou 


Cinematography 


Karl Freund, 
Gunther Rittaur 


Design 


Otto Hunte, Erich Kettelhut, 
Karl Vollbrecht 


Special Effects 


Eugen Schufftan 



NAPOLEON 263 




Napoleon 



DIRECTOR Abel Gance 



RELEASED 1927 



Abel Gance's most ambitious and personal film, 
Napoleon is a pyrotechnical display of almost every 
device of the silent screen and beyond. The use of 
a triple screen anticipates wide-screen techniques- 
such as Cinerama— which did not come into use 
for another 30 years. 

Gance's historical and historic film presents, 
in six episodes, Napoleon Bonaparte as a 
Nietzschean Superman. It follows his life from 
childhood, through his military schooling, his 
meeting with Josephine (Gina Manes), and his rise 
to power. With a dazzling use of visual metaphors, 
Gance shows the boy Napoleon as a brilliant 
budding military strategist during a snowball fight 
shot to resemble a military campaign, the split 
screen filling with snowballs in flight. The most 
famous set piece is the symbolic sequence in 



which Napoleon sails back to France from Corsica 
through stormy, rough seas that threaten to enter 
the boat, cut with scenes of a political storm 
raging in Paris. In order to gain his effects, Gance 
used hand-held cameras, wide-angled lenses, 
superimposed images, and rapid cutting. 

Napoleon was first shown at the Paris Opera, 
in a version that lasted five hours. However, it 
was poorly received and was released in various 
truncated forms thereafter. In 1980, British film 
restorer Kevin Brownlow reconstructed the 
film, keeping as close to the original as possible, 
and Napoleon finally received the recognition it 
deserved, amazing audiences everywhere. 



CREDITS 


Production 


West/Societe-Generale de Films 


Screenplay 


Abel Gance 


Cinematography 


Jules Kruger 


Music 


Arthur Honegger 




□ Polyvision was 

a revolutionary 
projection technique 
that used multiple 
frames to show a 
panorama of separate 
but thematically 
linked images. 



Q Albert Dieudonne 

plays Napoleon, here 
seen isolated after 
battle, surrounded by 
the dead and wounded. 
Such scenes typify 
Gance's desire to 
create a "richer and 
more elevated form 
of film." 



264 TOP 100 MOVIES 



EES Renee Falconetti, 

in her only film, wore 
no make-up and had 
to crop her hair to play 
the Lead role. 



The Passion of Joan of Arc 

DIRECTOR Carl Dreyer 
RELEASED 1928 

This film is an intense depiction of individual 
suffering, a soul in torment transformed into 
cinematic images. It is the purest expression 
of Carl Dreyer's style, which he himself referred 
to as "realized mysticism." 




Dreyer based his last silent film on transcripts of the 
18-month trial of Joan of Arc before she was burned 
at the stake. By telescoping the entire trial into one 
day, the screenplay gives the film a formal intensity. 
Dreyer's constant and unforgettable use of long-held 
close-ups has led some to describe The Passion of 
Joan of Arc as a film consisting entirely of examples 
of this type of shot. In fact, the film also includes 
tilts, pans, medium shots, and cross-cutting. The 
faces of the heroine's judges, bare of make-up, 
are cruelly exposed to Rudolph Mate's camera; 
but it is the agonized face of Falconetti as Joan that 
burns itself into the mind. Dreyer's intention was to 
"move the audience so that they would themselves 
feel the suffering that Joan endured." Despite this, 
the film remains an uplifting experience. 

CREDITS 



Production 



Societe Generate des Films 



Screenplay 



Carl Dreyer, Joseph Delteil 



Cinematography Rudolph Mate 



Costume Design Valentine Hugo 



□ The opening 
sequence, in which 
a girl's eye appears 
to be slit by a razor, is 
the most memorable 
of the 1 7 surrealistic 
images in the film that 
are designed to shock or 
provoke the audience. 



An Andalusian Dog 

(Un Chien Andalou) 

DIRECTOR Luis Bunuel 
RELEASED 1929 

A balcony at night. A man (Luis Buhuel) sharpens 
a razor blade. He observes a small cloud moving 
toward the full moon. Then the head of a girl 
comes into view, her eyes wide open. The cloud 
now moves across the moon. The razor blade 
slices open the girl's eye. 




So began An Andalusian Dog [Un Chien Andalou}— [he 
title is unrelated to anything in the film— and with 
it, Luis Buhuel's career. It has one of the most 
startling openings of any film, retaining the power 
to shock. According to French director Jean Vigo, 
"The prologue... tells us that in this film we must 
see with a different eye." Influenced by Andre 
Breton's "Surrealist Manifesto" (1924), and 
co-conceived with artist Salvador Dali, its series 
of unconnected incidents was intended to follow 
the logic of a dream: ants emerge from the palm 
of a disembodied hand (an archetypal Dali-esque 
image), priests are pulled along the ground, 
a woman's eye is slit open, and dead donkeys lie on 
two pianos. Although the film defies explanation, 
its rich supply of images from the unconscious can 
be read as a study of repressed sexual impulses. 



CREDITS 


Producer 


Luis Bunuel 


Screenplay 


Luis Buhuel, Salvador Dali 


Cinematography 


Albert Duberverger 



ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 265 




All Quiet on 

the Western Front 

DIRECTOR Lewis Milestone 
RELEASED 1930 

Based on Erich M. Remarque's best-selling novel 
of the same name, this devastating film was a 
landmark in anti-war movies, particularly as the 
narrative is viewed from the German perspective. 
Its stark point— that war is hell for both sides- 
resulted in Germany and France banning the 
film for many years for fear that it would have 
a demoralizing effect on their armed forces. 

The powerful pacifist message of Lewis 
Milestone's film, made at the dawn of the sound 
era, transcends cultures and generations. The 
film follows seven German boys who leave school 
in 19U, full of patriotic fervor, to fight for their 
country. Their enthusiasm is soon dampened 
when they are thrown into the horror of warfare 
and experience the brutality of life in the trenches. 
Particularly effective are the tracking shots, which 
show the attacks and counter-attacks of both 



sides, and the appalling deaths suffered. 
So realistic were these battle sequences 
that some of them have been incorporated 
into documentaries about World War I. The 
famous climax, in which Paul Baumer (Lew 
Ayres)— the only one of the seven boys still 
alive— is killed as he stretches toward a 
butterfly, was shot some months after the 
film's completion. The director used his 
own hand for this shot, and later, to hold 
the Oscar for Best Director. 

CREDITS 



Studio 
Producer 



Universal Pictures 

Carl Laemmle, 
Universal Studios 



Screenplay Lewis Milestone, 

Maxwell Anderson, 

Del Andrews, George Abbott, 

Erich Maria Remarque 

Cinematography Arthur Edeson, Karl Freund 



Awards 



Academy Awards: Best Picture, 
Best Director 



□ Film poster, 1930 



Q Paul Baumer (Lew 
Ayres) takes cover in 
a church cemetery 
under heavy shell fire 
from French forces 
counter-attacking a 
German bombardment. 




TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Dressed in a top hat, 

stiletto heels, and black 
stockings, Marlene 
Dietrich's Lola became 
one of film's most 
iconic images; the role 
was to launch her 
international career. 




The Blue Angel 



DIRECTOR Josef von Sternberg 



RELEASED 1930 



The first film with sound made in Germany, The Blue 
Angel [DerBlaue Engel) was notable for introducing 
Marlene Dietrich, one of film's greatest stars, 
to the world. The film also marked the start of one 
of the most remarkable collaborations between 
an actor (Dietrich) and a filmmaker (Josef 
von Sternberg) that film has ever seen. 

The film depicts the downfall of an aging and 
puritanical teacher, Professor Immanuel Rath 
(Emil Jannings), who becomes infatuated with 
a sultry nightclub entertainer named Lola Frohlich 
(Dietrich). She marries the hapless man, but goes 
on to deceive and humiliate him. The Blue Angel 
is an impressive tale of a decent man lured to his 
doom by un amour fou— exemplified in a startling 
scene that shows the cuckolded Rath crowing like 
a cockerel, while dressed as a clown. However, 
despite a moving performance by Jannings, 



The Blue Angel is Dietrich's film. Von Sternberg 
saw sensuous, mysterious, and glamorous star 
potential in her, and she gives a splendid portrayal 
of an indolent femme fatale. Sitting astride a chair, 
scantily dressed, and huskily singing Falling in 
Love Again, Dietrich encapsulated an age and 
an impulse in German film. Shot concurrently in 
German and English, the film's seedy atmosphere 
is conveyed by director von Sternberg's masterful 
manipulation of lighting techniques. 



CREDITS 



Studio 


UFA 


Producer 


Erich Pommerr 


Screenplay 


Josef von Sternberg, Robert 




Liebmann, Karl Vollmoller, and 




Carl Zuckmayer, from the 




novel Professor Unrath by 




Heinrich Mann. 


Cinematography 


Gunther Rittau 



Music 



Frederick Hollander 



CITY LIGHTS 267 



City Lights 



DIRECTOR Charlie Chaplin 



RELEASED 1931 



Four years after talkies had become de rigeur, 
Charlie Chaplin had the presumption to present 
a new silent film to the public. Only Chaplin— 
who not only acted in it, but also produced, 
directed, edited, wrote the scenario, and 
composed the music— could have gotten away 
with it. Audiences loved City Lights and critics 
called it his finest work. 

Using his last cent, the Little Tramp (Chaplin) 
buys a flower from a blind girl (Virginia Cherill). 
Smitten, he is determined to restore her sight, 
and is able to do so with money obtained from 
a drunken millionaire he saves from drowning. 
Seeing the rather ridiculous looking tramp for the 
first time, and unaware that he is her benefactor, 
the girl puts money in his hands, only to recognize 
his touch. Chaplin's unique stamp is unmistakable 
in this film, which shows 
his ability to shift from 
satire to pathos. One of the 
funniest set pieces is a 
brilliantly choreographed 
boxing sequence in 
which Chaplin dances 
around the ring while 
keeping the referee 
between himself and 
his adversary. Although 
it had sound effects and 
music, City Lights was 
primarily a tribute to 
silent screen comedy. 




Q Film poster, 1931 



□ The Little Tramp, Charlie Chaplin's trademark 
character, seen here with a blind flower girl 
(Cherill), was inspired by his poverty-stricken 
childhood in Victorian London. 



CREDITS 




Studio 


United Artists 


Producer 


Charlie Chaplin 


Screenplay 


Charlie Chaplin 


Cinematography 


Gordon Pollock, Roland 




Totheroh, and Mark Marklatt 






□ Andy Lee (George 
E. Stone) rehearses 
a tap routine with the 
chorus Line; Peggy 
(Ruby Keeler), the 
Lucky understudy, 
is at the front. 



42nd Street 



DIRECTOR Lloyd Bacon 



RELEASED 1933 



Although an archetypal "backstage" musical of the 
early 1930s, 42nd Street added a new dimension to 
the genre, with its potent references to the Great 
Depression contrasting with scenes of chorus girls 
slumming it in cheap apartments amidst Busby 
Berkeley's lavish kaleidoscopic production numbers. 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Warner Bros. 


Producer 


Hal B. Wallis, Darryl F. Zanuck 


Screenplay 


Rian James, James Seymour 


Cinematography 


Sol Polito 


Choreography 


Busby Berkeley 


Costume Design 


Orry Kelly 


Musical Numbers Harry Warren, AL Dubin 



This was the first of three Warner Bros, musicals in 
1933; followed by Gold Diggers of 1933 and Footlight 
Parade. Economical, fast-paced, and down-to-earth, 
they revitalized the genre. While less escapist than 
its predecessors, 42nd Street still contains all the 
essential elements of the genre, depicting the 
tribulations of putting on a Broadway show and 
ending with a successful opening night. Ingenue 
Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler) takes over the lead 
role from Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) at the last 
moment. The pep talk she gets from her director, 
Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter), before going on stage 
has entered showbiz lore, but most memorable are 
Berkeley's dance routines: Shuffle Off To Buffalo, 
Young and Healthy, and the title number, which, 
like the film, is "naughty, bawdy, gaudy, sporty." 




RufusT. Firefly 

(Groucho Marx), 
charms Gloria Teasdale 
(Margaret Dumont), the 
rich widow of the former 
President, at a party 
organized to welcome 
him as the new leader 
of Freedonia. 



Duck Soup 



DIRECTOR Leo McCarey 



RELEASED 1933 



In their fifth film, the Marx Brothers— Chico, Harpo, 
Groucho, and Zeppo— reached the height of their 
comic skills. This surreal satire lampooned war films 
(and war), authority and respectability, dictators, and 
the Ruritanian musical romances of the period. 

The year 1 933 was a time of immense social 
and economic upheaval: Hitler had seized power in 
Germany and the Great Depression was at its height 
in the US. So an outrageous comedy that begins 
with a political crisis and ends with a war would 
have seemed appropriate for its time. However, 
Duck Soup was both a critical and commercial 
failure when first released. Audiences were looking 
for reassurance, not the cynicism and anarchic 
humor of the Marx Brothers, hilarious as it is. In 
the film, Groucho plays the President of Freedonia, 



Rufus T. Firefly, who declares war on Sylvania, 
because he's "... already paid a month's advance rent 
on the battlefield." What follows is a series of lunatic 
set pieces, including the celebrated mirror routine in 
which Chico and Harpo are disguised as Groucho and 
all pretend to be each other's reflections. The film 
has the essence of the Marx Brothers' comic genius 
(without the piano and harp solos that interrupted 
many of their other films). After this film, straight 
man Zeppo became an agent, and the rest moved 
to MGM, where their lunacy continued. 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Paramount 


Producer 


Herman J. Mankiewicz 


Screenplay 


Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby 


Cinematography 


Henry Sharp 


Music 


Burt Kalmar, John Leipold, 
Harry Ruby 



KING KONG 269 



King Kong 

DIRECTOR Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack 
RELEASED 1933 



Despite two remakes— in 1976 and 2005— and 
many imitations, the original black-and-white 
King Kong retains its ability to charm and astonish. 
It became the yardstick against which all later 
monster movies would be measured. 

Kong, a gargantuan ape, inhabits the prehistoric 
Skull Island. When he sees Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), 
who is part of an expedition to the remote spot 
led by showman Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), 
his primal instincts are aroused and he goes 
on a rampage. He is eventually captured and 
taken to New York, where he meets a spectacular 
death— the image of Kong on top of the Empire 
State Building (holding a scantily dressed Wray 
moments before he is shot down) is one of the 
most iconic in film history. The film was made one 
frame at a time, using a special effect technique 
known as stop-motion photography (see box). 
Although he appears huge, Kong was a model 
made out of metal, rubber, cotton, and rabbit fur, 
only 18in (46cm) tall. Part of the film's appeal is 
that the model seems to be a real actor, expressing 
human emotions. 

^STOP-MOTION PHOTOGRAPHY 

One of the first special effects techniques used, 
stop-motion photography allows an otherwise 
inanimate object to move and change position 
by exposing a single frame of film at a time. 
The object is moved very slightly between 
exposures, so that when the film is projected, 
an illusion of motion is created. Because it 
takes 24 frames to create one second of film, 
several minutes of footage can take months 
to complete. Willis O'Brien was a pioneer of 
this technology, his crowning achievement 
being King Kong. Stop-motion sequences 
using real scenes of buildings and people was 
a variation on this technique and can be seen 
most effectively in Jason and the Argonauts 
(1963). The process is still used in animated 
films, such as Henry Selick's The Nightmare 
Before Christmas (1993) and Aardman 
Animations' productions (see pp. 83-84). 



CREDITS 



Studio 


RKO 


Producer 


MGrian CoopGr, 




Ernest B. Schoedsack, 




David 0. Selznick 


Screenplay 


James Ashmore Creelman, 




Ruth Rose, Edgar Wallace 


Cinematography 


Edward Linden, J.O. Taylor, 




Vernon L. Walker, 




Kenneth Peach 


Special Effects 


Willis O'Brien 



□ King Kong swats at 
the biplanes buzzing 
around him, while he 
balances on top of the 
Empire State Building 
in the movie's final 
sequence. 





270 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Juliette, a young 
city-dwelling bride, 
disappears after a 
quarrel but is reunited 
with her husband in a 
moving final scene. 




CREDITS 


Production 


Gaumont-Franco Film-Aubert 


Producer 


Jacques-Louis Nounez 


Screenplay 


Jean Vigo, Albert Riera, 
Jean Guinee 


Cinematography 


Boris Kaufman 


Music 


Maurice Jaubert 



□ Jean and Juliette 

(Jean Daste and Dita 
Parlo) stand at the 
prow of L'Atalante, 
the barge from which 
this haunting and 
beautifully visualized 
film gets its name. 




L'Atalante 



DIRECTOR Jean Vigo 



RELEASED 1934 



Any precis of this film's seemingly simple story 
cannot do justice to the richness of director Jean 
Vigo's only feature-length film. Much of it was 
shot along canals around Paris and in severe 
weather, contributing to Vigo's tragic death from 
tuberculosis just weeks after the film's premiere. 

A young barge captain, Jean (Jean Daste), takes 
his city-dwelling bride, Juliette (Dita Parlo), to live 
on his boat L'Atalante, which plies the waterways 



around Paris. Everyday life on the vessel is 
filled with magical moments, such as a waltz 
on a phonograph, the newlywed searching for 
his estranged sweetheart in water, and the joy 
of reconciliation. The film also contains rich 
characterization in the figure of Le pere Jules 
(Michel Simon at his eccentric best), the master 
of the boat, who tells fantastic stories of his travels. 
Although it is ostensibly realist in setting and plot, 
the film has a surreal spirit, with a commitment to 
Freudian theories of dreams and the unconscious 
as well as the overthrow of bourgeois social and 
moral codes. Poorly received on its first showing, 
the film was badly edited and even the title was 
changed to that of a popular song. Fortunately, 
UAtalante was restored to its original form in 
1945 and has since gained the classic status 
it richly deserves. 




T 



Ik 





Snow White and 
the Seven Dwarfs 



DIRECTOR David Hand 



RELEASED 1937 



Walt Disney took an enormous artistic and financial 
risk by making the first feature-length animation 
film in three-strip Technicolor. However, Snow 
White and the Seven Dwarfs confirmed his position 
as the master of the cartoon movie. 

Initially dubbed "Disney's Folly," the film was 
four years in the making and cost $1.5 million, 
a huge sum for the times. Having produced only 
short cartoons till then, Disney had to make 
many changes for its first feature— the painted 
cells had to be enlarged to allow more detail in 
the images— and close to 750 artists worked on the 
two million drawings using drawing boards. The 
studio also devised a multi-plane camera, which 
enhanced the feeling of depth and was able to 
pan over each image without losing perspective. 
The result was possibly the most popular cartoon 
film ever, grossing over $8 million on its initial 
US release. The songs, such as Whistle While You 
Work and Someday My Prince Will Come, became 



immediate hits. The film tells of how Snow White, 
the lovely stepdaughter of a jealous queen, flees the 
palace and takes refuge with seven dwarfs in their 
forest home. The queen changes into a wicked witch 
and poisons Snow White, who falls into a deep sleep 
until a prince finds her and awakens her with a kiss. 

In 1 938, Disney won a Special Academy Award 
for "a significant screen innovation which has 
charmed millions and pioneered a great new 
entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon." 
The success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
was followed by other Disney films including 
Fantasia (1940) and Pinocchio (1940). 



CREDITS 



Studio 


Walt Disney Studios 


Producer 


Walt Disney 


Screenplay 


Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, 




adapted from the story by 




the Brothers Grimm 


Cinematography 


Maxwell Morgan 


Supervising Director David Hand 


Awards 


Academy Award: 




Special Award 



such as Snow White, 
the prince, and the 
wicked Queen, 
appeared in a Disney 
film for the first time. 
The most lovable 
characters were 
the dwarfs, whose 
names were chosen 
by a public poll. 




□ The lighting of 

the Olympic flame 
is the culmination of 
the prologue, which 
links ideas of beauty in 
Greek antiquity to those 
in the Third Reich. 



Olympia 



DIRECTOR Leni Riefenstahl 



RELEASED 1938 



Riefenstahl's film on the 1936 Berlin Olympics is 
one of film's finest achievements. Nevertheless, 
admiration for its visual beauty is tempered by the 
fact that it was made under Hitler's orders as "a 
song of praise to the ideals of National Socialism." 



CREDITS 



Production 


Tobis 


Producer 


Leni Riefenstahl 


Screenplay 


Leni Riefenstahl 


Awards 


Venice: Mussolini Cup 




(Best Film] 



Realizing the immense potential for propaganda 
through the Olympics, and for its dissemination 
by film, Hitler gave Riefenstahl all the time and 
resources she needed to make this four-hour 
documentary. She had planes, airships, and 30 
cameramen at her disposal, and spent two years 
in the cutting room. It is easy to be seduced by the 
technical brilliance of the film's images, including 
the slow and reverse motion used in the diving 
sequence; the marathon forming "an epic hymn to 
endurance;" and the yacht racing under a darkening 
sky. However, the film is Nazi propaganda, and will 
always be associated with the atrocities against Jews. 



□ Julien Carette 

gives a sly, comic 
performance as the 
poacher Marceau (here 
displaying his quarry). 



The Rules of the Game 

DIRECTOR Jean Renoir 
RELEASED 1939 

Made on the eve of World War II, The Rules of 
the Game [La Regie du Jeu) is Jean Renoir's 
most complete film and his most complex in 
style. Inspired by the classic theatrical comedies 
of Pierre Marivaux, Pierre de Beaumarchais, and 
Alfred de Musset, the film shows French society 
of the time being disemboweled from within. 




At a lavish shooting party of the Count and Countess 
la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio and Nora Gregor), sexual 
tensions become apparent as relationships between 
aristocrats and servants are revealed. The structure, 
setting, and plot work to create a unique, dynamic 
juxtaposition of tragedy, melodrama, and farce. 

Aside from memorable performances, particularly 
Renoir's own as the lovable buffoon Octave, there 
are some outstanding set pieces, such as the rabbit 
and bird shoots, and the after-dinner entertainment, 
which uses breathtaking tracking shots and deep 
focus. A commercial disaster on its release and 
banned because its exposure of class divisions in 
French society was "too demoralizing," the film 
gained recognition as a masterpiece only in 1956. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Nouvelles Editions 




de Films 


Producer 


Claude Renoir 


Screenplay 


Jean Renoir, Carl Koch 


Cinematography 


Jean Bachelet 


Editor 


Marguerite Renoir 


Production Design Eugene Lourie 



GONE WITH THE WIND 



273 



Gone with the Wind 

DIRECTOR Victor Fleming 
RELEASED 1939 

A film of superlatives, Gone with the Wind was, 
at the time, the most publicized and expensive 
film to date— and the most popular. 

When David 0. Selznick voiced his intention of 
filming Margaret Mitchell's bestselling novel on the 
Civil War, for which he had bought the rights in 
1936, Victor Fleming told him, "This picture is going 
to be the biggest white elephant of all time," while 
producer Irving Thalberg said, "...no Civil War picture 
ever made a nickel." Spectacular set pieces— such 
as the burning of Atlanta, the party at Twelve Oaks, 
and the sight of thousands of wounded Confederate 
soldiers— superbly evoked the Old South. The film's 
central relationship, between the roguish Rhett 
Butler and the wilful minx Scarlett O'Hara, is a 
monument of passion brilliantly played by Clark 
Gable and British stage actress Vivien Leigh. 



CREDITS 


Production 


SGlznick I ntGrnational PicturGS 


Producer 


David 0. Selznick 


Screenplay 


Sidney Howard, from 




Margaret Mitchell's novel 


Cinematography 


Ernest Haller 


Production 


William Cameron Menzies 


Music 


Max Steiner 


Costume Design 


Walter Plunkett 



Awards Academy Awards: Best 

Picture, Best Actress 
(Vivien Leigh), Best 
Supporting Actress (Hattie 
McDaniel), Best Director, 
Best Screenplay, Best 
Cinematography (Color), 
Best Art Direction (Lyle R. 
Wheeler), Best Editing (Hal 
C. Kern, James E. Newcom), 
Technical Achievement 
Award (R.D. Musgrave) 



□ Vivien Leigh plays 
tempestuous Scarlett 
O'Hara, who runs away 
from an afternoon 
house party in the 
first part of the film. 




274 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ John Howard 

(George) and Cary Grant 
(Dexter) Look on as a 
tipsy Katharine Hepburn 
(Tracy) Languishes in the 
arms of James Stewart 
(Mike) after a midnight 
dip in the swimming 
pooL on the eve of 
her wedding. 



□ Film poster, 1940 






The Philadelphia Story 

DIRECTOR George Cukor 
RELEASED 1940 

Although The Philadelphia Story has many of the 
elements typical of screwball comedy, the elegant, 
witty script and George Cukor's understated direction 
turned it into a sophisticated comedy of manners. 

In a play of the same name, Katharine Hepburn 
scored a huge hit on Broadway as Tracy Lord, a role 
specially written for her by Philip Barry. She bought 
the film rights and chose her favorite 
director and co-stars. In a triumphant 
return to Hollywood, Hepburn plays 
Tracy, a domineering, spoiled 
socialite. All set for her wedding 
to the dull George Kittredge (John 
Howard), she finds she still has 
feelings for her ex-husband C.K. 
Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), and is 
attracted to cynical reporter Mike 



Connor (James Stewart), sent to cover her 
wedding. After a fight with George on the day 
of the wedding, she eventually succumbs to 
Dexter's dazzling charms and takes him back 
into her life. The film sparkles right from the 
celebrated wordless opening scene when Grant 
is tossed out of the front door by Hepburn, along 
with his bag of golf clubs. 

CREDITS 



Studio 


MGM 


Producer 


Joseph L. Mankiewicz 


Screenplay 


Donald Ogden Stewart, 
based on the play 
by Philip Barry 


Cinematography 


Joseph Ruttenberg 


Costume Design 


Adrian 


Awards 


Academy Awards: 

Best Actor (James Stewart), 

Best Screenplay 



HIS GIRL FRIDAY 



275 



His Girl Friday 



DIRECTOR Howard Hawks 



RELEASED 1940 



Howard Hawks' scintillating adaptation of the 
Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur Broadway 
comedy The Front Page is a fine example of 
screwball comedy, with its breakneck pace, 
sexual innuendo, rapid-fire wisecracks, and 
absurd situations. However, it is also a pointed 
satire on political corruption and journalistic 
ethics, as well as a commentary on "a woman's 
place" in the professional world. 

By changing the role of a main character— the 
star reporter— from a man (in the original play) to a 
woman, Hawks created sexual tension between the 
ruthless and wily newspaper editor Walter Burns 
(Cary Grant) and Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), 
his employee and ex-wife. Hildy is about to leave 
the newspaper to marry meek insurance salesman 
Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). The editor is 
determined to win her back, both to the newspaper 
and his bed, and hatches a plot, realizing that she 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Columbia 


Producer 


Howard Hawks 


Screenplay 


Charles Lederer, from the play 




The Front Page by Ben Hecht 




and Charles MacArthur 


Cinematography 


Joseph Walker 



will not be able to resist one final scoop. The twist 
works brilliantly in the film, especially as played 
by Grant and Russell, who give sharp and witty 
performances in this sparkling battle of the sexes. 
Most effective is the quick, intelligent repartee and 
the use of overlapping dialogue while the characters 
are constantly on the move. Despite being limited 
mostly to two sets— the newspaper office and the 
pressroom at the jail, where the journalists await 
the execution of an anarchist for killing a cop— the 
film never feels staged. It eclipses Lewis 
Milestone's excellent earlier version The 
FrontPage (1931) and Billy Wilder's tired 
remake (1974). 




□ Rosalind Russell, 

as Hildy, poses between 
co-stars Cary Grant 
and Ralph Bellamy 
in a promotional shot 
for the film. 




276 



□ Dorris Bowden, 

Jane Darwell, and 
Henry Fonda face 
trouble on their 
way to California 
in their old jalopy. 



Q The courage and 

strength of Ma Joad 
(Jane Darwell) keeps 
her suffering family 
together. 




The Grapes of Wrath 

DIRECTOR John Ford 
RELEASED 1940 

John Steinbeck's novel— a desolate vision of the US 
during the Great Depression— provided John Ford 
with the material for one of the few Hollywood 
films, until then, with a genuine social conscience. 
With its unpatronizing treatment of ordinary 
people, it retains the themes of family 
and home— typical of many Ford films- 
while making a social statement. 

Forced to leave their land (in the dustbowl of 
Oklahoma), the Joad family struggle to reach the 
"promised land" of California. Only exploitation, 




disappointment, and hardship await them at the 
end of their arduous journey, when they find that 
the wages paid to migrant workers are barely 
enough for survival. Although it focuses on the 
recent past, the film has a nostalgic poetry in 
its bleak visual images and beautifully lit studio 
exteriors. It was filmed in documentary-style black- 
and-white textures and low-key lighting, to recreate 
the look and feel of rural 1 930s America. Henry 
Fonda gives one of his most sincere performances 
as Tom Joad, the grassroots American buffeted by 
fortune but willing to stand up for his rights. As he 
says to his mother: "I'll be all around... Wherever 
there's a fight so hungry people can eat... And when 
the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' 
in the houses they build— I'll be there too." Unlike 
the novel's bleak conclusion, the film ends on an 
upbeat note, with the indomitable matriarch Ma 
Joad (Jane Darwell) proclaiming, "They can't wipe 
us out. They can't lick us. And we'll go on forever, 
Pa, because we're the people," thus affirming the 
strength and human dignity of the individual spirit. 

CREDITS 

Studio Twentieth Century Fox 

Producer Darryl F. Zanuck, 

Nunnally Johnson 

Screenplay Nunnally Johnson, based on 

the novel by John Steinbeck 

Cinematography Gregg Toland 

Awards Academy Awards: Best Director, 

Best Supporting Actress 
(Jane Darwell) 



CITIZEN KANE 



Citizen Kane 



DIRECTOR Orson Welles 



RELEASED 1941 



In 1998, the American Film Institute (AFI) voted 
Citizen Kane the greatest Hollywood film ever. 
It has also topped Sight & Sound's poll of best 
movies, conducted every 1 years since 1 962, 
and despite being burdened with the label of 
"greatest-film-ever-made," Citizen Kane usually 
lives up to expectations. 

As a newcomer to moviemaking, the 25-year-old 
Welles is said to have broken rules he did not 
know existed. Working against chronological 
narrative conventions, his newspaper tycoon, 
Charles Foster Kane, is seen from many subjective 
viewpoints, providing a deeper understanding of 
the protagonist. The innovative use of wide-angle 
and deep-focus lenses, the creative use of sound, 
the great set pieces, the titanic performance of 
Welles as Kane, were all in pursuit of the meaning 



CREDITS 


Studio 


RKO 


Prnri i irpr 
r i uuulci 


rircnn Wolloc 
Ul OUII vvcuco 


Screenplay 


Orson Welles, 




Herman J. Mankiewicz 


Cinematography 


Gregg Toland 


Editor 


Robert Wise, Mark Robson 


Music 


Bernard Herrmann 


Art Director 


Van Nest Polglase 


Awards 


Academy Award: 




Best Original Screenplay 



of "Rosebud," the single word Kane utters on his 
deathbed at the beginning of the film. To facilitate 
the low-angle shots, nearly every indoor set had a 
visible ceiling, a rare device at the time. Newspaper 
magnate William Randolph Hearst tried to have 
the film banned, believing that Kane was a veiled 
portrait of himself. It was screened only after 
Welles threatened RKO with a lawsuit. 




□ A high-angle shot 

shows Kane (Welles) 
and his best friend, 
Jedediah Leland 
(Joseph Cotten) 
taking over a small 
newspaper, a shot 
echoed in the film's 
final scenes of Kane's 
amassed goods. 



278 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



The Maltese Falcon 

DIRECTOR John Huston 
RELEASED 1941 

Considered the first film noir, The Maltese Falcon 
is one of the most assured directorial debuts and 
perhaps the greatest ever remake, effacing two 
other versions (1931, 1936) of Dashiell Hammett's 
classic detective novel. 

Among the many firsts of this seminal film 
was the screen debut, at 61 , of stage actor Sydney 
Greenstreet. He plays one of three people— the 
others being Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and femme 
fatale Brigid (Mary Astor)— searching for a 
treasured objetd'art named the Maltese Falcon. 
The trio hire private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey 



Bogart) to find it. Bogart's portrayal of the 
laconic Spade pushed him into the top rank 
of stars, inaugurating a succession of thrillers 
featuring hard-boiled detectives. Huston created a 
brooding, shadowy world, often placing characters 
in the foreground, giving their mute reactions 
greater weight than was usual at the time. 



CREDITS 




Studio 


Warner Bros. 


Producer 


HalB.Wallis 


Screenplay 


John Huston, from the novel 
by Dashiell Hammett 


Cinematography 


Arthur Edeson 


Music 


Adolph Deutsch 



□ In a hotel lobby, 

Sam Spade (Bogart) 
confronts the hired 
gunman, Wilmer 
Cook (Elisha Cook Jr.). 
Bogart is superb as 
the sentimental anti- 
hero who lives by his 
own code of ethics. 




□ Humphrey Bogart 

cornered the market 
in cool, streetwise 
investigators after 
his performance in 
The Maltese Falcon. 




TO BE OR NOT TO BE 279 



The Little Foxes 



DIRECTOR William Wyler 



RELEASED 1941 



William Wyler's classy adaptation of Lillian 
Hellman's lush stage drama about an avaricious 
Southern family in the early 1900s featured Bette 
Davis at her bitchy best. 

Wisely refraining from "opening up" Hellman's 
play, Wyler and his cinematographer exploited the 
claustrophobic atmosphere of the house where 
the Giddens family's power struggles take place. 
At the film's center is Regina Giddens (Davis)— 
passionate, thwarted, tyrannical, and greedy. She 
conspires with her brothers to grab the family 
fortune, only to deceive and blackmail them. 
The use of deep-focus photography is particularly 
effective in a scene in which Regina refuses to give 
her husband (Herbert Marshall) his medicine when 
he is in the throes of a heart attack, choosing 
instead to watch him from the background as he 
struggles in the foreground. This was the last of 
three films Davis and Wyler made together, the 
others being Jezebel (1938) and The Letter (1940). 




CREDITS 


Studio 


RKO 


Producer 


Samuel Goldwyn 


Screenplay 


Lillian Hellman, from her 




play of the same name 


Cinematography 


Gregg Toland 



□ Regina (Bette Davis), 
in an Oscar-nominated 
performance, talks 
business with her 
brother Ben Hubbard 
(Charles Dingle, right) 
and industrialist 
William Marshall 
(Russell Hicks) 
over coffee. 



To Be Or Not To Be 

DIRECTOR Ernst Lubitsch 
RELEASED 1942 

During the dark times of World War II, Lubitsch 
directed one of Hollywood's greatest comedies. To 
Be Or Not To Be took the Nazi occupation of Poland 
as its theme and, as anti-Nazi propaganda, it was 
more effective than many "serious" attempts. 

Carole Lombard and Jack Benny play Maria and 
Joseph Tura, who head a troupe of Shakespearean 
actors trapped in Warsaw when the Nazis march 
into Poland. When asked his opinion of Joseph, the 

CREDITS 



Studio 


United Artists 


Producer 


Alexander Korda, Ernst Lubitsch 


Screenplay 


Edwin Justus Mayer, 




Melchior Lengyel 


Cinematography 


Rudolph Mate 



comic Gestapo chief, "Concentration Camp" Ehrhardt 
(Sig Ruman), says, "What he did to Shakespeare, 
we're now doing to Poland." Although the jokes 
come thick and fast, the situation comes across as 
horrific. When the film was released, no one was in 
the mood to laugh: Pearl Harbor had been attacked 
by Japan, the Nazis were sweeping across Europe, 
and Lombard had been killed in a plane crash; 
but over the years, the film has become a classic. 




□ Professor Alexander 
Siletsky (Stanley 
Ridges) raises a 
glass to Maria (Carole 
Lombard). The Polish 
academic is actually 
a Nazi spy intent 
on destroying 
the Resistance. 



280 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Captain Edward V. 
Kinross (Noel Coward) 
addresses his crew 
before their ship is 
sunk by enemy forces. 



Ordinary Seaman 
Shorty Blake (John 
Mills), one of the crew 
of HMS Torrin, begins 
a courtship with Freda 
Lewis (Kay Walsh) 
on a train. 




In Which We Serve 

DIRECTOR Noel Coward, David Lean 
RELEASED 1942 

A tribute to those serving in the Royal Navy 
during World War II, In Which We Serve captured 
the prevailing mood of Britain at the time. 

This "story of a ship" is told in flashback by 
the survivors of HMS Torrin, a bombed British 
destroyer, as they cling to a life raft in May 1 941 . 
The Torrin has been patrolling Europe's coastline 
as part of Britain's defense against German 
warships, but is sunk by enemy action off Crete. 
Led by Noel Coward as Captain Kinross, an 



archetypal British commander, the crew hope 
and pray for rescue. While waiting, some of them 
look back on the events of the war, including the 
evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and the loss of 
many of their comrades. 

Permeating the film is a deep love for the ship, 
which symbolizes the unity of the nation without 
resorting to false heroics or flag-waving. The 
behavior of the crew, all of whom "knew their 
places" on the social scale, was presented as the 
ideal model for the behavior of a society at war. 
Coward also wrote and produced the film, and 
composed its music. The movie also features a 
19-year-old Richard Attenborough, in his debut 
role of a callow stoker who deserts his post. 



CREDITS 



Production 


Two Cities Films 


Producer 


Noel Coward 


Screenplay 


Noel Coward 


Cinematography 


Ronald Neame 



Awards Special Academy Award 

for'outstanding production 
achievement" 




CASABLANCA 



281 




Casablanca 



DIRECTOR Michael Curtiz 



I 



RELEASED 1942 



The strong plot, the exotic setting, the quotable 
piquant dialogue, the cherished performances 
from a magnificent cast, and the emotional score 
by Max Steiner— not forgetting Dooley Wilson as 
Sam playing As Time Goes By— have ensured that 
Casablanca remains the epitome of the 1940s 
Hollywood romance. 

American forces liberated French North Africa in 
the same year that Casablanca was released, which 
gave the movie a topical title. Most of the film takes 
place in and around the Cafe Americain, which is 
run by Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical 
isolationist and gun-runner. He gets involved in the 
Free French cause in order to help Victor Laszlo 
(Paul Henreid), a resistance leader who is married 
to Rick's former lover llsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). 
The poignant and passionate team of Bogart and 
Bergman, with flashbacks to their love affair in 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Warner Bros. 


Producer 


HalB.Wallis, Jack L Warner 


Screenplay 


Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. 




Epstein, Howard Koch 


Cinematography 


Arthur Edeson 


Music 


Max Steiner 



Awards Academy Awards: 

Best Picture, Best Director, 
Best Screenplay 



pre-war Paris, is one of the most celebrated 
relationships in film history. Strangely, this 
most structured and beloved of films was 
made in a manner that left everyone on the 
set confused as to what was happening, 
except Michael Curtiz, who brought together 
all the subplots and huge supporting cast 
of this romantic war melodrama with his 
expert hand. As time goes by, Casablanca 
looks better and better. 



□ The love between 
llsa (Ingrid Bergman) 
and Rick (Humphrey 
Bogart) is rekindled 
as she makes one 
last effort to get the 
transit papers for 
her resistance-fighter 
husband to be able to 
escape Casablanca. 





TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Massimo Girotti 

(Gino) and Clara 
Calamai (Giovanna) 
play illicit lovers 
whose relationship is 
beginning to descend 
into guilt and mistrust. 





Ossessione 



DIRECTOR Luchino Visconti 



RELEASED 1943 



□ Film poster, 1943 



Ossessione was the first film to be referred to as 
Italian neorealist (see box, p. 286), a label given 
by critic Antonio Pietrangeli, one of the film's 
screenwriters. It was also the first film to be 
directed by Luchino Visconti, whose use of natural 
settings and working-class characters served to 
inspire other Italian filmmakers. 

Gino (Massimo Girotti), a handsome drifter, 
and Giovanna (Clara Calamai), the beautiful and 
desperately unhappy wife of Bragana (Juan 
de Landa), an elderly and boorish innkeeper, 
embark on an affair. Their passion leads them 
to kill Bragana, after which their relationship 
drifts toward inevitable tragedy. 

Visconti took James M. Cain's study of fatal lust 
in the rural US, The Postman Always Rings Twice, 
and brilliantly transplanted it to provincial Italy. 
Because it was wartime, Visconti was able to buy 
the rights of the novel, and therefore retained only 



the outline of the original. He even introduced a 
new character, whose presence further disrupts 
the already guilt-ridden central relationship. 
Although having professional actors, a well- 
defined plot, and visual formality make the film 
less neorealistic than its successors, its down-to- 
earth characters and evident sensuality contrasted 
vastly with the predominant bourgeois melodramas 
of the day. Initially cut and then withdrawn by 
Fascist censors, the film only reappeared after the 
war. Cain's novel had already been made into a film 
in France— Le Dernier Tournant (1939). It was to be 
remade in Hollywood in 1945 and 1981, and then in 
Hungary in 1998, under the title of Passion. 



CREDITS 


Production 


ICI Rome 


Producer 


Libera Solaroli 


Screenplay 


Luchino Visconti, Antonio 
Pietrangeli, Giuseppe De Santis, 
Mario Alicata, Gianni Puccini 


Cinematography 


Aldo Tonti, Domenico Scala 



CHILDREN OF PARADISE 



283 



Children of Paradise 

DIRECTOR Marcel Came 
RELEASED 1945 

Marcel Came described his film as a "homage to 
the theater" and the script exudes the Life and soui 
of France's theatrical tradition. The larger-than-life 
characters, the witty and profound dialogue, and 
the narrative skill and sweep of the production 
have placed this on many critics' lists as one of 
the greatest films ever made. 

Children of Paradise is as complex and broad as a 
novel, although its action is confined to the world of 
Parisian theater in the 1840s. Paradis (in its French 
title Les Enfants du Paradis] refers to the upper seats 
of the theater where poorer viewers sat. Among the 
crowds that throng the boulevards in the film are 
classical actor Frederick Lemaitre (Pierre Brasseur), 
mime artist Debureau (Jean-Louis Barrault), and 
criminal Lacenaire (Marcel Herrand)— all based on 
real historical figures. All three are in love with the 
sensuous, free-spirited courtesan Garance (Arletty). 



CREDITS 


Production 


S.N. Pathe Cinema 


Screenplay 


Jacques Prevert 


Cinematography 


Marc Fossard, Roger Hubert 


Production 


Leon Barsacq, 


Design 


Raymond Gabutti 




Alexandre Trauner 


Music 


Joseph Kosma 


Costume Design 


Antoine Mayo 



The film came about because the Nazi occupation 
of Paris forced Carne and scriptwriter Jacques 
Prevert to make "escapist" movies, with no political 
content. Nevertheless, some commentators viewed 
Garance as a representation of Free France. Today, 
the film is seen as a richly entertaining and intensely 
romantic evocation of an epoch. Ironically, Arletty 's 
career suffered due to a liaison with a Nazi officer. 
She was put under house arrest, forbidden to 
work for three years, and was not invited to the 
film's premiere. 




□ The great mime 
artist Baptiste Debureau 
(Jean-Louis Barrault) 
performs with his 
father Anselme 
(Etienne Ducroux) 
and the alluring 
Garance (Arletty). 





A Matter of Life and Death 

DIRECTOR Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger 
RELEASED 1946 

In their fourth collaboration as producers, directors, 
and writers, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 
delivered a richly comic film, which juxtaposed 
highly stylized fantasy with a morale-boosting 
depiction of Britain during World War II. 

A British pilot, Peter Carter (David Niven), 
survives a plane crash only to discover that the 
powers above have made a mistake and that 
he was actually scheduled to die. As he fights for 
his life on the operating table under the loving eyes 
of American radio operator June (Kim Hunter), 

CREDITS 



a debate takes place in heaven about whether or 
not to save him. Avoiding the obvious, the directors 
decided to shoot the scenes on Earth in Technicolor 
and the sequences "in heaven" in black-and-white. 
The link between the real world and the one in 
the mind of the pilot, is wittily represented by a 
mechanical staircase that uses modern technology 
to express a fantasy. One of the underlying aims 
of the plot was to celebrate the Anglo-American 
alliance that prevailed during World War II. 



Production 


The Archers 


Producer 


Michael Powell, 




Emeric Pressburger 


Screenplay 


Michael Powell, 




Emeric Pressburger 


Cinematography 


Jack Cardiff 


Production Design 


Alfred Junge 




Back in the earthly realm, here represented 
by color, June (Kim Hunter) comforts injured 
airman Peter Carter (David Niven) before he 
goes into the operating room. 



IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE 285 



It's a Wonderful Life 

DIRECTOR Frank Capra 
RELEASED 1946 

Frank Capra called It's a Wonderful Life his favorite 
film and it is certainly loved by most audiences. It 
aims to impart the real meaning of the Christmas 
season, in a similar way to Charles Dickens' 
A Christmas Carol, and has certainly justified its 
perennial screening during the festive season. 

The impetus and structure of It's a Wonderful 
Life recall Capra 's pre-war successes, including 
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1 936) and Mr. Smith Goes 
to Washington (1939), in which the heroes represent 
a civic ideal only to be opposed by the forces of 
corruption until they are redeemed by society as 
a whole. The character of George Bailey (James 
Stewart) embodies the quintessential Capra-esque 
"little man." He falls in love with Mary (Donna 
Reed), but financial troubles send him into a spiral 
of despair. Teetering on the verge of suicide, he is 



CREDITS 


Studio 


RKO 


Production 


Liberty Films 


Producer 


Frank Capra 


Screenplay 


Frank Capra, Frances Goodrich, 




Albert Hackett, from the story 




The Greatest Gift by 




Philip Van Doren Stern 


Cinematography 


Joseph Walker, 




Joseph Biroc 


Music 


Dimitri Tiomkin 



rescued by Clarence (Henry Travers), his guardian 
angel, who shows him how different the world 
would have been if he had never been born; Bedford 
Falls, the idealized small US town in which Bailey 
grew up, has become a cesspool of big-city ways 
in this alternate reality. Found too whimsical and 
sentimental for post-war audiences, the film failed 
on its initial release, but became popular with time. 




□ In the celebrated 
final scene of the film, 
Bailey (James Stewart) 
realizes the value of 
the love of his family, 
having been rescued 
by his guardian angel. 



286 TOP 100 MOVIES 



Bicycle Thieves 



DIRECTOR Vittorio De Sica 



RELEASED 1948 



Of all the movies dubbed "Italian neorealist" (see 
box), Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves [Ladri di 
biciclette) is the most beloved and moving. Despite 
improved social conditions in Italy, the film is still 
as poignant today as when it was made, because 
it contains one of the most believable portrayals 
of a father-son relationship on screen. 




Filmed on location in the working-class districts 
of Rome, Bicycle Thieves tells the simple story of 
an unemployed man who is offered a job as a bill 
sticker, provided he has a bicycle. He borrows money 
from a pawnbroker to buy a bike, but it is stolen 
on his first day of work. He then spends the day with 
his young son, desperately searching for the bicycle 
and the thief. He discovers that the thief was just 
as needy as he is and considers stealing a bicycle 
himself, thus showing that anybody is capable 
of theft in certain circumstances. After De Sica's 
success in the US with Shoeshine (1 946), American 
producer David 0. Selznick offered to make Bicycle 
Thieves with Cary Grant, but De Sica refused, 
raised the money himself, and continued to work 
with non-professional actors in real locations. 
His insistence paid off— it was this un-Hollywood- 
like quality that gave the film its wide appeal. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Produzioni De Sica 


Producer 


Giuseppe Amato, 




Vittorio De Sica 


Screenplay 


Cesare Zavattini, Oreste 




Biancoli, Suso DAmico, 




Vittorio De Sica, Adolfo Franci, 




Gerardo Guerrieri 


Cinematography 


Carlo Montuori 



Awards Academy Award: Special 

Foreign Language Film Award 



□ Bewildered and 
despairing, Bruno 
(Enzo Staiola) joins 
his father on the 
search for his stolen 
bicycle, showing his 
filial loyalty. 



ITALIAN NEOREALISM 



The origins of Italian neorealism can be traced 
to the "realist" or verismo style of Verga and 
others. It influenced Italian silent film, which 
portrayed human suffering in natural settings. 
The neorealists of the 1940s returned to these 
themes, reacting against frivolity. Films such 
as Vittorio De Sica's Shoeshine (1946), Roberto 
Rossellini's Paisa (1946), Luchino Visconti's La 
Terra Trema (1948), and Giuseppe De Santis' 
Bitter Rice (1949), dealt with the problems of 
working-class people and the social conditions 
that caused them. 

□ Roma, CittaAperta [Rome, Open City, 1945) 
was an early neorealist film, shot in real 
locations, and using local people as well 
as professional actors. 





287 



□ Stefan (Louis 
Jourdan), a self- 
absorbed concert 
pianist, finally realizes 
the consequences 
of his actions as he 
reads a letter from 
a dying Lisa. 



Letter from an 
Unknown Woman 



DIRECTOR Max Ophuls 



RELEASED 1948 



The second of German emigre Max Ophuls' four 
Hollywood movies, Letter from an Unknown Woman is 
set in a lovingly evoked turn-of-the-century Vienna. It 
is the only one of his Hollywood films that came close 
to mirroring his sensuous and sumptuous European 
work, and is that rare thing— a Hollywood art movie. 

In this bittersweet romance of unrequited 
love, Lisa Berndle (Joan Fontaine in a touching 
performance) hero-worships her handsome 
concert-pianist neighbor, Stefan Brand (Louis 
Jourdan), from a distance. After several years 
they meet and have a short-lived affair, but he 
disappears from her life again. The film, recounted 
in flashbacks, suggests that Lisa, blind to reality, 
lives in a romantic dream world in which her 
love can never be fulfilled. Seen from a female 



perspective, however, the movie also reveals the 
shallowness of a man's perception of a woman. 
Ophuls changed the original ending of Stefan 
Zweig's story by sending the hero to certain death 
in a duel. On its release in the US, it was dismissed 
as too sentimental, but it was later celebrated as 
one of the most evocative "European" films ever 
made in Hollywood. 



■ I By the time you finish 
reading this letter, I'll be 

dead 



Opening lines of 
Lisa's letter to Stefan 



CREDITS 


Production 


Rampart 


Producer 


John Houseman 


Studio 


Universal International 


Screenplay 


Howard Koch, from the story 




by Stefan Zweig 



Cinematography Franz Planer 




Q In her modest 
apartment, Lisa (Joan 
Fontaine) reflects 
on her glamorous 
encounter with Stefan. 




288 



□ Fire wardens 

Shirley (Barbara 
Murray) and Arthur 
(Stanley Holloway) 
discover a centuries- 
old document that 
identifies Pimlico 
as French territory, 
not British. 







Passport to Pimlico 

DIRECTOR Henry Cornelius 
RELEASED 1949 

A tribute to the war effort and the stoical British 
character, Passport to Pimlico exudes good humor 
and social observation. It is also an expression of 
hope in the period following World War II. 

^EA LING COMEDY 

Although Ealing Studios made dramas and 
war films, they will always be associated with 
the particular brand of comedy they produced 
between 1947 and 1955. With rare exceptions, 
they used original scripts from the studio's 
own writers, principally T.E.B. Clarke, who 
wrote Passport to Pimlico (1 949), The Lavender 
Hill Mob (1951), and The Titfield Thunderbolt 
(1953). The films generally dealt with a 
i small group of people in a naturalistic social 
setting, making much of the indomitable, 
if somewhat idealized, British spirit. 

□ The LadykiUers (1955), starring Alec 
Guinness and Peter Sellers, ended a short 
period of black comedy at Ealing Studios, 
which began with Hue and Cry (1 947). 



The film is set in the small district of Pimlico, 
in post-war London. A wartime bomb explodes, 
revealing treasures from Burgundy, France. 
Among these is a manuscript that claims, 
according to local historian Professor Hatton- 
Jones (Margaret Rutherford), that Pimlico is, 
by ancient law, a Burgundian possession. The 
inhabitants are no longer bound by wartime 
restrictions and austerity; instead they can 
operate outside British law by destroying their 
ration books and drinking at all hours. Border 
crossings are set up and customs officers 
patrol local trains. 

An Ealing comedy (see box), this delightful 
film shows ordinary people in a small community 
making extraordinary things happen. It pokes 
fun at the new Labour government, but is too 
gentle to be classified as satire; when Pimlico 
is forced to rejoin Britain at the end, the spirit 
of compromise is celebrated. 



CREDITS 



Studio 


Ealing 


Producer 


Michael Balcon 


Screenplay 


T.E.B. Clarke 


Cinematography 


Lionel Banes 



THE THIRD MAN 289 



The Third Man 



DIRECTOR Carol Reed 



RELEASED 1949 



One of the most effective British thrillers, The Third 
Man derives its Look from German expressionism 
(see box, p. 259), Italian neorealism (see box, 286), 
and the work of Orson Welles. He appears for only 
about 20 minutes, but his presence is felt throughout. 

Graham Greene's novella was meant to serve 
as the source material for the screenplay, but it 
was published after the film. This dark yet playful 
movie studies the effect of post-war economic and 
social corruption on war-torn Vienna. It was the 
first British film shot almost entirely on location. 
The sense of locale, making the shattered city an 
integral part of the action, and the black-and-white 
cinematography, add to the film's atmosphere. The 
moment when Welles— as the presumed-dead 
racketeer Harry Lime— reappears, is legendary. 
In the sequence, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) 
is searching for his friend through the nighttime 



streets of Vienna. A cat meows in a doorway. 
Martins turns and, as Anton Karas' zither music 
peaks, the cat is seen licking a pair of shoes. 
As the camera rises, Welles' face emerges. 

The film begins and ends with the same scene: 
the funeral and burial of Harry Lime. The first 
funeral pronounces him the unfortunate victim 
of an accident, but the second identifies him as 
an unrepentant mass murderer. 



CREDITS 



Production 



British Lion, London 
Film Productions 



Producer 


Carol Reed 


Screenplay 


Graham Greene 


Cinematography 


Robert Krasker 


Art Director 


Vincent Korda 


Music 


Anton Karas 


Awards 


Academy Award: Best Black- 




and-White Cinematography; 




Cannes: Best Film 




Q Carol Reed told 
cinematographer 
Robert Krasker to keep 
the camera at an angle, 
heightening the drama 
of the moment when 
Harry Lime (Orson 
Welles) reappears. 





290 



□ Orpheus (Jean 
Marais) presses his 
face against a mirror 
before he enters the 
Underworld through 
the glass in search 
of his wife Eurydice 
(Maria Dea). 



Q Orpheus holds an 
open book showing a 
photograph of Eurydice. 
Her presence, both 
in person and in a 
photograph, reflects 
the subtle interplay 
of reality and illusion 
in the film. 




— CREDITS 



Production 


Films du Palais Royal 


Producer 


Andre Paulve 


Screenplay 


Jean Cocteau, based on his play 




of the same name 


Cinematography 


Nicolas Hayer 


Production Design Jean d'Eaubonne 



Orpheus 



DIRECTOR Jean Cocteau 



RELEASED 1950 



This witty and haunting film can be considered the 
centerpiece of Jean Cocteau's entire oeuvre. It forms 
part of his Orphic trilogy, along with The Blood of 
a Poet (1930) and Testament of Orpheus (19 60). 
Cocteau himself described Orpheus [Orphee] as 
"a detective story, bathed on one side in myth 
and, on the other, the supernatural." 



The poet Orpheus (Jean Marais) falls in love 
with the Princess of Death (Maria Casares). 
In turn, her chauffeur (Francois Perier)— the 
angel Heurtebise— is in love with the poet's wife, 
Eurydice (Marie Dea). Heurtebise takes Eurydice 
to the Underworld through a looking glass, with 
Orpheus following in order to bring her back. 
"Mirrors are the doors through which Death comes 
and goes. Look at yourself in a mirror all your life 
and you'll see Death at work like bees in a hive 
of glass," says the angel. 

Although Cocteau uses reverse slow-motion 
and negative images to evoke the Underworld, 
the domestic life of Mr. and Mrs. Orpheus is 
filmed "realistically." This helps to elaborate 
the theme of the poet caught between the 
real and the imaginary, in a perfect marriage 
between Greek legend and the director's 
own mythology. 




RASHOMON 291 



Rashomon 

DIRECTOR Akira Kurosawa 
RELEASED 1950 



Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon was the first 
Japanese film to be shown widely in the West. 
This makes it significant beyond its indubitable 
qualities because it set the stage for even 
greater works by Kurosawa. 

In feudal Japan, a samurai named Takehiro 
(Masayuki Mori) travels through the woods with 
his wife Masako (Machiko Kyo). She is raped by a 
bandit (Toshiro Mifune), who also kills her husband. 



POINT OF VIEW 

Point of view (POV) is a shot filmed at such 
a camera angle that an object or an action 
appears to be seen through the eyes of a 
particular character. This is achieved by 
placing the camera beside the actor or 
at the spot he or she would occupy on set. 
The other actors look at the point where the 
character is supposed to be, rather than at 
the camera itself. One extreme example of 
POV was Robert Montgomery's Lady in the 
Lake (1947), in which a subjective camera 
was used to tell the whole story as seen 
by the film's protagonist Phillip Marlowe. 




Masako cradles a dying Takehiro. Viewed 
through the multiple points of view of Rashomon, 
the events leading to Takehiro 's death reveal the 
relativity of truth. 



At the trial, the incident is described in four 
conflicting, yet equally credible versions— by the 
bandit, the wife, a priest (Minoru Chiaki), and a 
woodcutter (Takashi Shimura)— demonstrating the 
subjective nature of truth. The film's popularity 
was as much due to its intriguing story and forceful 
performances as for its unfamiliar background. By 
the time Rashomon (named after the ruined stone 
gate where the tale is told) awakened Western 
audiences to Japanese film, Kurosawa was already 
an established director in his own country. The film 
was remade in Hollywood as the Western The 
Outrage (1964), one of three Kurosawa samurai 
movies to be adapted in the Hollywood style. 




Producer 


Minoru Jingo 


Screenplay 


Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu 




Hashimoto, from two short 




novels by Ryunosuke Akutagawa 


Cinematography 


Kazuo Miyagawa 


Awards 


Academy Award: Honorary 




Award for "most outstanding 




foreign language film released 




in the USA in 1951" 




Venice: Best Film 



292 TOP 100 MOVIES 




GEME KEILT 

□ Film poster, 1952 



□ During the fantasy 
dance sequence, Don 

Lockwood (Gene Kelly) 
is bewitched by the 
seductive nightclub 
dancer and gangster's 
moll (Cyd Charisse). 



Singin' in the Rain 

DIRECTOR Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen 
RELEASED 1952 

Considered the apogee of MGM musicals, Singin' 
in the Rain is a delightful mixture of nostalgia and 
affectionate satire on the turmoil and triumphs 
that beset the transition from silent films to the 
talkies. The era is splendidly conjured up by 
the period settings and costumes, and a series 
of wonderfully staged numbers. 

Producer Arthur Freed, the supremo of the MGM 
movie musical, brought together an expert team. 
Many of the songs he had previously written, along 
with Nacio Herb Brown, for The Hollywood Review 
of 1929 (1929) were integrated into the pLotLine — 
including the liberating title number. This famous 
song showed off the balletic and hoofing skills of 
Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood to memorable effect. 
Kelly's talents were also seen in the Broadway ballet 



CREDITS 



Studio 


MGM 


Producer 


Arthur Freed 


Screenplay 


Betty Comden, Adolph Green 


Cinematography 


Harold Rosson 


Music 


Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb 




Brown, Betty Comden, 




Johnny Green, Roger Edens 



sequence, while Donald O'Connor's electrifying 
comedy-dance routine, Make 'Em Laugh, was 
the peak of his career. In one part, Kathy Selden 
(ingenue Debbie Reynolds, sparkling in her first 
major role) has to dub the voice of Lina Lamont, a 
movie star from the silent era (played unforgettably 
by Jean Hagen), because Lina's voice is found 
too squeaky for movies with sound. Ironically, 
Debbie's singing voice was, in turn, dubbed by 
Betty Royce, who remained uncredited. 




TOKYO STORY 293 




□ Chishu Ryu (Left), 
Setsuko Hara (middle), 
and Chieko Higashiyama 
share a moment in a 
domestic scene, shot 
at floor level. 



Tokyo Story 



DIRECTOR Yasujiro Ozu 



RELEASED 1953 



One of the finest films of Yasujiro Ozu's last decade, 
and one which continually appears in "best ever" 
lists of critics, Tokyo Story [Tokyo Monogatari] 
belatedly made the Japanese director's name 
in the West, mainly when it was released in the 
US in 1972, almost 20 years after it was made. 

An elderly couple (Chishu Ryu and Chieko 
Higashiyama), who live by the sea in south Japan, 
pay a visit to their children and grandchildren in 
Tokyo. No one shows them much affection, except 
for Noriko (Setsuko Hara), their widowed daughter- 
in-law. "Be kind to your parents when they are alive. 
Filial piety cannot reach beyond the grave"— so says 
a simple Japanese proverb. Instead, the old couple 
are made to feel like a burden on their grown-up 
children. When they return home, the wife dies, 
leaving her husband to face an unknown future. 



Tokyo Story was a prime example of shomin- 
geki, defined as a family melodrama. Yet this 
radiant, gentle, heartbreaking, and perceptive 
investigation of the tensions within a family, 
generation gap, old age, and pressures of city 
life, is far from the West's idea of melodrama. 
There are remarkable performances in the 
film and a creative use of sound— chugging 
boats, train noise— and ravishing exteriors 
punctuating the subtle interior sequences. 
Ozu shoots his story with as little camera 
movement as possible, in an attempt to 
make the balance of every scene perfect. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Shochiku 


Producer 


Takeshi Yamamoto 


Screenplay 


Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda 


Cinematography 


Yuharu Atsuta 


Music 


Takanobu (or Kojun) Saito 



academy UNEtiA a[JB 

- ■ 




Hlfl srur 



□ This poster was for 

the Academy Cinema, 
London, now defunct. 



294 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Edie (Saint) talks 
to Terry (Brando) on 
a tenement rooftop 
beside a pigeon coop. 
The coop belonged 
to Edie's brother, for 
whose death Terry is 
partly responsible. 




On the Waterfront 

DIRECTOR ELia Kazan 
RELEASED 1954 

A shatteringly powerful melodrama of social 
conscience, On the Waterfront was shot on location 
in New York. It reveals Elia Kazan's mastery in 
dealing with realistic settings and personal conflicts, 
highlighted by a naturalistic, improvisatory style of 
acting, which the director brought to film from the 
Actors Studio. 

The plot follows a group of dock workers in 
the clutches of an unscrupulous union boss (Lee 
J. Cobb). The workers eventually confront their 
exploiter with the aid of a former union henchman 
and washed-up boxer Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), 
a liberal priest (Karl Maiden), and a courageous 
young woman (Eva Marie Saint). The film is seen as 
Kazan's reply to those who criticized him for naming 
Communists during the McCarthy investigations in 
1 952 (see p. 31 ). Brando's deeply felt characterization 
dominates the movie. Especially memorable is the 



scene that takes place in a taxi between Terry 
and his brother Charley (Rod Steiger), in which 
he says poignantly, "I coulda had class. I coulda 
been somebody. I coulda been a contender 
instead of a bum, which is what I am." The 
photography and music score greatly enhance 
the mood of the film. 

CREDITS 



Studio 


Columbia 


Producer 


Sam Spiegel 


Screenplay 


Budd Schulberg 


Cinematography 


Boris Kaufman 


Music 


Leonard Bernstein 


Awards 


Academy Awards: Best Picture, 
Best Director, Best Actor 
(Brando), Best Supporting 
Actress (Eva Marie Saint), 
Best Story and Screenplay, 
Best Art Direction (Richard Day), 
Best Editing (Gene Milford); 
Venice Silver Prize 



ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS 295 



All That Heaven Allows 

DIRECTOR Douglas Sirk 
RELEASED 1955 



Although Douglas Sirk's4// That Heaven Allows has 
the appearance of a Lush soap opera and is enjoyable 
at that Level, it is also a thinly disguised, scathing 
critique of American suburbia and a potent analysis 
of a middle-class woman's social oppression. 

Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) is an attractive 
widow in a prominent social position in a New 
England town. However, when she becomes 
romantically involved with her gardener, Ron Kirby 
(Rock Hudson, Sirk's favorite actor), a much 
younger man, she is ostracized by her peers and 
condemned by her grown-up children. One of the 
most effective scenes is when her children, after 
trying to break up her relationship with Hudson, 
give her a television set as a Christmas present 



CREDITS 




Production 
Producer 



Universal International 
Ross Hunter 



Screenplay 



Peg Fenwick 



Cinematography Russell Metty 



to occupy her time. The sequence ends with 
her reflection on the television's blank screen 
as she watches it in her empty house. The fluid 
camerawork, the inventive use of color, and 
the intensity of the performances transcend 
the usual "woman's weepie" format. Rainer 
Werner Fassbinder used 
the movie as a model for his 
film Fear Eats the Soul (1973) 
and Todd Haynes' Far From 
Heaven (2002) paid direct 
homage to it. 



*WB WYMUV-BOCJi JflftS0.\ 




Q Widow Cary 

(Jane Wyman) defies 
convention and finds 
troubled happiness 
in the strong arms 
of her gardener Ron 
(Rock Hudson). 




296 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Jim (James Dean, 
far right) goes to the 
police station after 
teenage gang Leader 
Buzz (Corey Allen) is 
killed in a "chicken 
run," and meets 
Buzz's fellow gang 
members coming out. 



Rebel Without a Cause 

DIRECTOR Nicholas Ray 
RELEASED 1955 



Rebel Without a Cause, a disenchanted cry of 
youth alienated from the adult world, will always 
be synonymous with its star, James Dean, in 
the role that did most to create his image and 
posthumous fame. 

At the core of this inappropriately titled film 
(the rebels do have a "cause"— to be loved and 
understood as individuals) are the rebels' strained 
relationship with their parents. The movie focuses 
on three youngsters: "Plato" (Sal Mineo), whose 
divorced parents have abandoned him; Judy 
(Natalie Wood), who feels her father has withdrawn 
his love; and Jim (James Dean), who is being torn 
apart by his domineering mother and weak father. 
Unlike many of the teen rebel films that followed, 



this one places the blame on the parents rather 
than the teenagers. The main action takes place 
over one day and includes a knife fight, a "chicken 
run" (a high-speed race in hot rod cars up to the edge 
of a cliff), and a love affair between Jim and Judy. 
Nicholas Ray, making his first film in CinemaScope 
(a format in which he would become a master), 
caught the immediate and timeless qualities of 
frustrated adolescence. Strangely, all three of the 
film's young stars died violent and unnatural deaths: 
Dean was killed in a car crash, Mineo was murdered, 
and Wood drowned in mysterious circumstances. 

^CREDITS 



Studio Warner Bros. 



Producer 


David Weisbart 


Screenplay 


Stewart Stern 


Cinematography 


Ernest Haller 



PATHER PANCHALI 297 




Pather Panchali 



DIRECTOR Satyajit Ray 



RELEASED 1955 



Out of an Indian film industry at the time almost 
entirely dominated by formulaic, escapist musical 
films, Satyajit Ray suddenly appeared on the 
international scene with this Bengali-language 
masterpiece. Pather Panchali completely altered 
Western notions of Indian film. 

Shot in natural surroundings with non- 
professional actors, the film revolves around Apu, 
a young boy who lives in a small Bengal village 
with his parents, his sister Durga, and an aged 
great-aunt, on the borderline of poverty. The title 
means "song of the little road," and the film's 



leitmotif is travel— of vistas beyond the confines 
of the tiny rural community. There are the traveling 
players viewed with wonder by Apu, and the lyrical 
sequence when he runs with his sister through a 
field of tall grass toward the railroad line to see 
a train taking people to a big city. Apu was to 
take this journey himself in Aparajito [The 
Unvanquished, 1956), the second part of the trilogy 
that concludes with ApurSansar [The World of Apu, 
1959). Ray had difficulty raising funds for his 
debut film and was about to abandon shooting 
after 18 months, when he was rescued by the West 
Bengal government. 



CREDITS 




Production 


Government of West Bengal 


Screenplay 


Satyajit Ray, from the novel by 




Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay 


Cinematography 


Subrata Mitra 


Music 


Ravi Shankar 




Q Durga (Uma Das 
Gupta) offers a stolen 
guava to her great- 
aunt Indir Thakrun 
(Chunibala Devi). 



Q Harihar Ray (Kanu 
Bannerjee), Apu's 
father, is shattered 
by the news of his 
daughter's death. 



298 TOP 100 MOVIES 



Q With the words 

"Love" and "hate" 
tattooed on his hands, 
Robert Mitchum gives 
an unforgettable 
performance as a 
psychopath posing 
as a pastor in the 
hunt for prey. 



The Night of the Hunter 

DIRECTOR Charles Laughton 
RELEASED 1955 



Actor Charles Laughton's only directorial venture 
is an eerily beautiful parable of good and evil, 
its bold visual style derived from German 
expressionism (see box, p. 259) and American 
primitive paintings. The presence of Lillian Gish 
as Rachel, representing the spirit of healing, 
echoes the rural dramas of D.W. Griffith. 

The plot focuses on psychopathic preacher Harry 
Powell (Robert Mitchum), who obtains money for 
"the Lord's work" by marrying and murdering rich 
widows. Powell sets his sights on Willa Harper 
(Shelley Winters), whose husband has hidden a 
huge sum of stolen money and is on Death Row. 
Only the couple's children, John (Billy Chapin) and 
Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce), know where the money is. 
Harry marries and kills Willa, but the children flee 



down a river, finding refuge with an old woman, 
Rachel (Gish). Evil (Powell) is destroyed by the 
forces of good and innocence as represented by 
the old lady, the children, nature, and animals- 
all atmospherically photographed. The singular 
Mitchum pursuing the children through a nocturnal 
landscape, Gish guarding the orphans like a mother 
hen, and the murdered Winters' hair flowing 
underwater are some of film's most haunting 
images. Sadly, the film's failure at the box office 
dissuaded Laughton from directing another film. 

CREDITS 



Studio 


United Artists 


Producer 


Paul Gregory 


Screenplay 


James Agee (rewritten by 




Laughton, uncredited), based 




on the novel by Davis Grubb 



Cinematography Stanley Cortez 





The Seventh Seal 



DIRECTOR Ingmar Bergman 
RELEASED 1957 



Ingmar Bergman's 17th film placed him firmly 
in the pantheon of great directors. Shot in oniy 
35 days, this powerful morality tale depicts, in 
luminous images derived from early church 
paintings, the cruelty of medieval life— including 
witch-burning and flagellations— as well as the 
joy and noble aspirations of humankind. 

Antonius Block (Max von Sydow), a 14th-century 
knight, returns from the Crusades with his earthy 
and cynical squire (Gunnar Bjornstrand) to find 
Sweden ravaged by the plague. In his search for 
God, Block meets a group of strolling players, 



CREDITS 



Production 


Svensk Filmindustri 


Producer 


Allan Ekelund 


Screenplay 


Bergman, from his 




play Wood Painting 


Cinematography 


Gunnar Fischer 




299 



suffering peasants, and Death (Bengt Ekerot), 
with whom he plays a deadly game of chess 
in an attempt to save his life. 

The Seventh Seal [Det Sjunde Inseglet), which 
Bergman called "a film oratorio," is one of the first 
in his mature works. Shot in a highly individual 
style, the film is full of religious imagery, which, 
paradoxically, expresses a Godless universe. 
Bergman's figure of Death expresses his 
thoughts about existence and religion. 

Tall, gaunt, and imposing, von Sydow made 
his mark in film with his portrayal of a man 
in spiritual turmoil. The cast also included Bibi 
Andersson, who worked in 13 films with Bergman. 



Q Death (Bengt 
Ekerot) plays chess 
with the knight (Max 
von Sydow), who hopes 
to extend his time on 
Earth by beating the 
Grim Reaper. 



□ Silhouetted against 

the sky, Death is 
seen holding his 
scythe and leading 
the knight and his 
followers in a macabre 
medieval dance. 



I 



300 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ In the opening 

scene, police officer 
John Ferguson (James 
Stewart) is frozen by 
fear as he clings 
precariously to 
a rooftop gutter. 




□ Saul Bass, one 

of America's most 
renowned graphic 
designers, created 
this poster for Vertigo. 



Vertigo 



DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock 



RELEASED 1958 



Although Vertigo was a commercial and critical flop 
when it was first released, its reputation has grown 
gradually over time, and it is now widely considered 
to be Alfred Hitchcock's finest achievement. The 
reassessment has come about because of a deeper 
understanding of Hitchcock's films— of which Vertigo 
is a supreme example— both in theme and style. 

Private detective John "Scottie" Ferguson 
(James Stewart) quits the San Francisco police 
force because he has developed a pathological 
fear of heights. He is hired by a friend, Gavin Elster 
(Tom Helmore) to follow his suicidal wife Madeleine 
(Kim Novak) around San Francisco. Scottie falls in 
love with Madeleine as he watches her day after 
day, but is unable to prevent her fatal leap from a 
bell tower because of his fear of heights. Following 
her death, the distraught Scottie meets Judy (also 
played by Novak), who reminds him of Madeleine. 
He tries to turn Judy, a brunette, into the exact 
image of the blonde he had loved. 



Vertigo is an absorbing study of sexual obsession, 
which makes the twists in the plot almost irrelevant. 
With its central tragic love story, it is one of the few 
Hitchcock films to move audiences emotionally. It 
has also been acclaimed for its innovative use of 
camera techniques, such as forward zoom and 
reverse tracking shots, to intensify the atmosphere 
of suspense. Seldom has picturesque San Francisco 
looked so alluring as in the film's sharp-edged 
Technicolor photography; nor has Bernard 
Herrmann's yearning music ever been so effective. 
Kim Novak's cool, somnambulist manner accords 
perfectly with the dreamlike atmosphere as she 
lures James Stewart to his doom. 

CREDITS 



Studio 



Paramount 



Producer 


Alfred Hitchcock 


Screenplay 


Alec Coppel, 




Samuel Taylor 


Cinematography 


Robert Burks 


Music 


Bernard Herrmann 


Title Design 


Saul Bass 



ASHES AND DIAMONDS 



Ashes and Diamonds 

DIRECTOR Andrzej Wajda 
RELEASED 1958 

Polish film burst onto the scene with Andrzej 
Wajda's lively war trilogy about the young people's 
resistance movement in Warsaw. The third part, 
Ashes and Diamonds [Popiol i Diament), which 
followed A Generation (1955) and Kanat (1957), 
is perhaps Wajda's finest work, its enigmatic 
twilight world communicating the "Polish 
experience" during World War II far beyond 
the country's frontiers. 

On the last day of World War II in 1 945, Maciek 
(Zbigniew Cybulski), the youngest member of a 
Nationalist underground movement in a provincial 
Polish town, is ordered to kill Szczuka (Waclaw 
Zastrzezynski), the new Communist District 
Secretary. As Maciek waits in a hotel during the 
night, he meets and falls in love with a barmaid 
Krystyna (Ewa Krzyzewska) and learns that 
there is something more to life than killing— 
the possibility of love and happines. He is 
soon torn between his conscience and loyalty 
to the cause he has lived for. The assassination 
scene, the climactic slow-motion dance to 
Polish music known as Polonaise, and Maciek's 
death scene are all stunningly realized. In a 
complex characterization, the brilliant Cybulski, 
his eyes hidden by dark glasses, embodies 
the sceptical new generation and establishes 
his reputation as "the Polish James Dean." 
The actor was killed while running for a train 
in 1967 at the age of 40. 

□ The remarkable Zbigniew Cybulski 

plays Maciek, who, having been shot during 
a chase, besmirches white sheets hanging 
on a line with his blood. 



CREDITS 



Production 



Film Polski 



Screenplay 



Jerzy Andrzejewski, 
Andrzej Wajda, from the 
novel by Andrzejewski 



Cinematography Jerzy Wojcik 

Music Filip Novak, 

Jan Krenz 




302 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Antoine Doinel 

(Jean-Pierre Leaud, 
fourth from Left) Lines 
up at the reform schooL 
where he is sent for 
steaLing a typewriter. 




mm 



□ Film poster, 1959 



The 400 Blows 



CREDITS 



DIRECTOR Francois Truffaut 



Production 



Les FiLms du Carrosse 



RELEASED 1959 



Francois Truffaut's first feature film, made when he 
was 27 years old, was based on his own deprived 
childhood. It was an immediate success, winning 
the Best Director prize at Cannes. It also helped 
to launch the French NewWave (see pp. 42-43) and 
started a series of films following the character 
Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) through 
adolescence, marriage, fatherhood, and divorce. 



Producer 


Georges Chariot 


Screenplay 


Marcel Moussy from an 




original story by Truffaut 


Cinematography 


Henri Decae" 


Music 


Jean Constantin 


Awards 


Cannes: Best Director 



NOUVELLE VAGUE 



This term described the New Wave of directors 
who made their first feature films in France 
during the years following 1959. The main 
impetus for the French movement came from 
the critics-turned-directors of the influential 
magazine Cahiers du Cinema, headed by 
Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. The 
latter was perhaps the greatest and most 
radical of the French New Wave directors. 



A harsh critic writing for Cahiers du Cinema, Truffaut 
was challenged by his movie-producer father-in- 
law to make a film himself. The 400 Blows was the 
triumphant result. The title comes from a colloquial 
expression faire les quatre cents coups, meaning "to 
get into a lot of trouble." A 1 2-year-old Parisian boy, 
Antoine, neglected by his mother and stepfather, 
plays hookie and takes to petty crime. He is placed 
in a reform school, but escapes to the coast. The 
film has a wonderful freewheeling atmosphere 
as it follows Antoine through the streets of Paris. 
Much of the film's quality is due to Jean-Pierre 
Leaud's spontaneous performance. The freeze 
frame shot of his face as he runs toward the 
sea is one of film's most celebrated endings. 



SOME LIKE IT HOT 303 



Some Like It Hot 



DIRECTOR Billy Wilder 



RELEASED 1959 



A high-water mark in American post-war comedy, 
Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot is an amalgam of 
parody, slapstick, farce, and sophistication. With 
its modern, liberal sexual approach, the film is 
nostalgic in its tribute to the screwball comedies 
and gangster movies of the 1930s. 

Two jazz musicians (played by Tony Curtis 
and Jack Lemmon), on the run from gangsters, 
disguise themselves as "Josephine" and "Daphne" 
and join an all-girl band on the way to Florida. 
On the train, they befriend Sugar Kane (Marilyn 
Monroe), the band's singer. Complications occur 
when "Josephine" falls in love with Sugar, and 
"Daphne" is courted by millionaire Osgood Fielding 
III (Joe E. Brown). When "Daphne" finally admits 
he is a man, Osgood replies, in one of the most 



y 

CREDITS 


Studio 


United Artists 


Production 


Mirisch Company 


Screenplay 


Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond 


Cinematography 


Charles Lang 


Music 


Adolph Deutsch 


Awards 


Academy Award: 




Costume Design 



memorable punchlines in cinematic history, "Well, 
nobody's perfect." Curtis and Lemmon give two of 
Hollywood's best cross-dressing portrayals, with 
Curtis offering a triple treat— as his wise-guy self, 
as a woman with a dark wig and a high-pitched 
voice, and as an oil tycoon who sounds like Cary 
Grant. Lemmon, in high-heeled shoes, a flapper's 
frock, and a blond wig, is hilarious, while Monroe 
brings sensitivity to her role, and sings two zippy 
numbers from the 1920s. 



□ Sugar Kane (Marilyn 
Monroe), in rehearsal 
with her band on the 
train to Florida, belts 
out Runnin' Wild; while 
Tony Curtis and Jack 
Lemmon can be seen 
over her right shoulder. 




D Film poster, 1959 



304 TOP 100 MOVIES 



1 < ~\ 



i 

loifp ■ 

De 



Breathless 



□ Film poster, 1960 



Q Patricia (Jean 
Seberg) talks to 
petty criminal Michel 
(Jean-Paul Belmondo), 
who seeks refuge 
from the police in 
her Paris apartment. 



DIRECTOR Jean-Luc Godard 



RELEASED 1960 



This greatly influential film made the anarchic 
Jean-Paul Belmondo a star, revitalized Jean 
Seberg 's career, and established 29-year-old 
Jean-Luc Godard, in his first feature, as a leading 
member of the French New Wave (see pp. 42-43). 

The story of Michel Poiccard (Belmondo), a 
dashing young car thief, who kills a policeman 
and goes on the run with his American girlfriend 
Patricia Franchini (Seberg), was based on an idea 
by Francois Truffaut and dedicated to Monogram 
Pictures— Hollywood's all-B movie studio. 
Breathless [A bout de souffle] attempts to recapture 
the directness and economy of the American 
gangster movie by the superb use of location 
shooting, jump cuts (which eliminated the usual 
establishing shots), and a hand-held camera. 



Cinematographer Raoul Coutard, who has 
worked on many of the French New Wave 
films, was pushed around in a wheelchair, and 
used as a camera dollie, following the characters 
down the street and into buildings. In order to 
achieve an immediacy in the performances, 
Godard cued the actors, who were not allowed 
to learn their lines, during the takes. A former 
critic, he consciously broke conventions of film. 
At the same time, however, he paid homage 
to what he regarded as worth emulating in 
Hollywood film. 



^CREDITS 


Studio 


Imperia 


Producer 


Georges de Beauregard 


Screenplay 


Jean-Luc Godard 


Cinematography 


Raoul Coutard 


Awards 


Berlin: Best Director 




LA DOLCE VITA 305 



La Dolce Vita 



DIRECTOR Fedenco FeLLini 



RELEASED 1960 



Causing a sensation when it was released, 
Federico Fellini's most (in)famous film is an 
impressive three-hour, widescreen panorama 
of decadent contemporary society in Rome. 
It introduced into the English Language the 
expressions la dolce vita and paparazzi— [he Latter 
now synonymous with intrusive photographers 
who chase celebrities. 

The film's story follows jaded gossip columnist 
and would-be serious writer Marcello Rubini 
(Marcello Mastroianni) through seven nights 
and seven days, as he rootlessly and amorally 
wanders around the hot spots of Rome in 
search of himself. At the metaphoric ending, 
he glimpses innocence in the form of a young 
girl on the beach at dawn, but a stretch of water 
separates them and he cannot hear what she 
is saying. There is imaginative brilliance in the 
notorious set pieces— a vast statue of Christ is 
flown over Rome; Marcello and a bored heiress 
pick up a prostitute for a menage a trois; a high 
society orgy takes place, at which the hostess 
Nadia (Nadia Gray) performs a striptease; and 
Marcello sticks feathers on a woman and rides 
her like a horse. Especially memorable is Anita 
Ekberg as blonde starlet Sylvia, who calls out to 
Marcello in seductive tones at the striptease party. 



□ Anita Ekberg, playing American starlet Sylvia, 
wanders tipsily into the Trevi Fountain in Rome. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Pathe Consortium Cinema, 




Riama Film 


Producer 


Guiseppe Amato 


Screenplay 


Federico Fellini, 




Tullio Pinelli, 




Brunello Rondi, 




Ennio Flaiano 


Cinematography 


Otello Martelli 


Music 


Nino Rota 


Costume Design 


Piero Gherardi 


Awards 


Cannes: Best Film 




Saturday Night and 
Sunday Morning 

DIRECTOR Karel Re sz 
RELEASED 1960 

One of British film's key works of the post-war 
period, and arguably the best and most honest of 
the British New Wave (see pp.41 -42) movies that 
dealt with working-class life, Karel Reisz's first 
feature, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning turned 
Albert Finney, as the rebellious anti-hero, into 
a new kind of star. 

"Don't let the bastards grind you down. That's 
one thing you learn. What I'm out for is a good time. 
All the rest is propaganda," says a defiant Arthur 
Seaton (Finney), who works at a lathe in the Raleigh 
factory in Nottingham, in the north of England. He 
has an affair with Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the wife 
of his co-worker who later finds out. Brenda gets 

^FREE CINEMA 

In the mid-1950s, a group of British filmmakers 
challenged orthodoxy in society and film. They 
stressed the social responsibility of the artist to 
make films free from commercial considerations, 
and to express the "significance of the everyday." 
Karel Reisz, Lindsay Anderson, and Tony 
Richardson were connected with the "Angry 
Young Men" of literature and the "kitchen sink" 
drama of theater. 

This poster for Tony Richardson's film 
adaptation of Look Back in Anger aptly reflects 
the impact of John Osborne's revolutionary play. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Woodfall Film Productions 


Producer 


Tony Richardson, 




Harry Saltzman 


Screenplay 


Alan Sillitoe, from his novel 


Cinematography 


Freddie Francis 


Music 


John Dankworth 



pregnant; in the meantime, Arthur has met Doreen 
(Shirley Anne Field) in a pub and marriage soon 
threatens. Albert Finney's "angry young man" 
gives the film its punch as he reacts against his 
surroundings with energy and humor. The film, 
with well-rounded, recognizable working-class 
characters rarely seen in British films until then, 
splendidly evokes the drab midland industrial 
setting— the factories, backstreets, canal banks, 
and pubs— and its effect on human relationships. 




LAST YEAR AT MARIENB AD 307 



L'Avventura 



DIRECTOR Michelangelo Antonioni 



RELEASED 1960 



After five features in ten years, Antonioni's style 
reached its maturity in L'Avventura [The Adventure). 
The minimal plot, Long takes and slow tracking 
shots, limited dialogue, and strong relationship 
between the characters and their environment 
redefined views of time and space in film. 

Anna (Lea Massari) and her fiance Sandro 
(Gabriele Ferzetti) visit a Sicilian island with a group 
of wealthy people. After an argument with Sandro, 
Anna disappears. Her friend Claudia (Monica Vitti) 
joins Sandro to search for her, and they become 
lovers. The bitter ending is not a conventional 
resolution. Antonioni's refusal to explain Anna's 
disappearance outraged and disconcerted many 
when the movie was first released, although this 
did not stop the film from becoming a success. What 
matters is the effect the unsolved mystery has on 
the alienated characters, especially the ravishing 
Vitti in the first of many roles for Antonioni. 




CREDITS 


Producer 


Cino Del Duca, 




Amato Pennasilico, 




Luciano Perugia 


Screenplay 


Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, 




Tonino Guerra 


Cinematography 


Aldo Scarvarda 


Music 


Giovanni Fusco 



Q Best friends, Anna 
(Massari, left) and 
Claudia (Vitti) prepare 
to go off to spend a 
few days on a Sicilian 
island, from where 
Anna disappears. 



Last Year at Marienbad 

DIRECTOR Alain Resnais 
RELEASED 1961 

By rejecting a chronological structure and objective 
reality, and by mingling memory and imagination, 
desire and fulfilment, with past, present, and 
future, Alain Resnais created one of the most 
enigmatic, haunting, and erotic of cine-poems. 

In a vast, baroque mansion with geometrically 
designed gardens, X, an unnamed man (Giorgio 
Albertazzi) tries to convince A, a female guest 
(Delphine Seyrig) that they had had an affair the 



I 



CREDITS 
Producer 



Pierre Courau, 
Raymond Froment 



Screenplay 



Alain Robbe-Grillet 



Cinematography Sacha Vierney 



Music 



Francis Seyrig 



Awards 



Venice: Jury Prize 



year before, and that she should leave M (Sacha 
Pitoeff), the man who might be her husband, for 
him. Although the style and structure puzzled many 
at the time, the interweaving of past and present, 
and the instant "flash-ins," instead of traditional 
slow flashbacks, have now become part of the 
vocabulary of contemporary filmmaking. On one 
level, Last Year at Marienbad [LAnnee Derniere a 
Marienbad] is a variation on the eternal romantic 
triangle, expanded from the age-old pick up line, 
"Haven't we met somewhere before?" The stylized 
dresses, the organ music, the tracking shots down 
endless hallways, the dazzling decor, and the 
mysterious Seyrig are all unforgettable. 




Q Delphine Seyrig 

plays A, the nameless 
woman who does not 
remember whether 
she had an affair. 



308 TOP 100 MOVIES 




Lawrence of Arabia 

DIRECTOR David Lean 
RELEASED 1962 

One of the most intelligent and spectacular 
blockbusters ever made, Lawrence of Arabia is 
a travelogue, a history lesson, and an adventure 
movie. Above all, it is a study of an enigmatic 
and controversial military figure. Peter OToole, 
in the title role, became a global star overnight. 

The movie follows the adult life story of 
T.E. Lawrence, a British army officer who fought 
in Arabia. Based on Lawrence's memoirs, The 
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the film's narrative begins 
with Lawrence's death in an accident in England. 
A flashback retraces the major stages of his 
military career: his friendship with Sherif Ali 
(Omar Sharif); his support of Prince Feisal (Alec 
Guinness); his capture and 
torture by the Turkish Bey 
(Jose Ferrer); and the central 
role he played in dismantling 
the Ottoman Empire. 



CREDITS 



Production 



Horizon 



Producer 


Sam Spiegel 


Screenplay 


Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson, 




based on the memoirs of 




T.E. Lawrence 


Cinematography 


Frederick A. Young 


Music 


Maurice Jarre 



Awards Academy Awards: Best Picture, 

Best Director, Best Color 
Cinematography, Best Color 
Art Direction (John Box, John 
Stoll, Dario Simoni], Best Sound 
(John Cox), Best Film Editing 
(Anne Coates), Best Music Score 



The story brought out the best in director David 
Lean, who responded, like his hero, to the beautiful 
scenery of the vast Sahara desert, splendidly 
caught in all its shifting moods by the camera of 
Freddie Young. The first sight of Sharif, initially 
a mere dot on the horizon, is perhaps the most 
striking sequence in this epic film. 



□ Film poster, 1962 




Q Peter OToole plays 
Colonel Lawrence, a 
legendary war hero 
who leads the Arabs 
into battle in the 
campaign against the 
Turks in World War I. 



DR. STRANGELOVE 309 




Dr. Strangelove 



DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick 



RELEASED 1964 



Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove elects to view 
nuclear annihilation as the ultimate absurdity. A 
satire on those who have stopped worrying about 
the bomb, this masterpiece of black comedy gets 
as close to a 20th-century catastrophe as possible, 
and is far more effective than more somber efforts. 

Kubrick had planned to make Dr. Strangelove Or: 
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as 
a serious drama about the inevitable heated ending 
of the Cold War. He changed the tone to a comic 
one during the early days of working on the script, 
when he found he had to suppress some of the more 
absurd elements to keep it from being funny. The 



CREDITS 


Production 


Hawk Films 


Producer 


Stanley Kubrick, Victor Lyndon 


Screenplay 


Stanley Kubrick, Terry 
Southern, Peter George 
(based on his novel] 


Cinematography 


Gilbert Taylor 


Production Design 


Ken Adam 



plot centers on the frantic attempts by the US 
government to call back the B-52s sent by insane 
Air Force Brigadier-General Jack D. Ripper to 
launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. 
Sterling Hayden as Ripper, who is convinced the 
"Commies" are tainting the drinking water to 
reduce sexual potency, and George C. Scott as 
the hawkish General "Buck" Turgidson, embody 
Kubrick's anti-militarism. Peter Sellers gives three 
brilliant caricature performances: as an RAF group 
captain; in the title role as a sinister, wheelchair- 
bound German scientist whose artificial arm 
involuntarily jerks into a Nazi salute; and as a liberal 
President of the US. The ominous circular War 
Room, brilliantly designed by Ken Adam, is central 
to Kubrick's nightmarish vision. Through comedy, 
the director sought to bring about an awareness 
of the very real possibility of nuclear destruction. 



■■ Please gentlemen, 

you can't fight here, this is 

the War Room! ■■ 

President Merkin Muffley 



□ Peter Sellers 

(in dark glasses), 
playing the title role 
of the mad scientist, 
gives advice to the 
President (Sellers 
again, offscreen) 
in the War Room. 



310 TOP 100 MOVIES 




□ Film poster, 1965 



The Sound of Music 

DIRECTOR Robert Wise 
RELEASED 1965 

This heart-warming musical features seven 
children, their handsome, wealthy widower father, 
and a fresh-faced singing governess. With its 
catchy Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, the film, 
set in spectacular Tyrolean scenery and shot in 
Todd-AO and De Luxe Color, has become for 
many, one of their favorite things. 

The plot centers around Maria (Julie Andrews), 
a young, postulant nun, who quits the convent to 
take up the position of governess to the children 
of Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). 
She eventually marries her employer, and the 
family becomes the internationally celebrated 
von Trapp Family Singers, but have to flee 
Austria during the Nazi annexation of the country. 
The film is based on the true life story of the 
Trapp family as told in The Story of the Trapp 
Family Singers, written by Maria Augusta Trapp 
and published in 1949. Shot on location in Austria 



and featuring a perfectly cast Julie Andrews 
who radiates a youthful charm— as well as 
showcasing her melodious voice— the film had 
an immediate advantage over the 1 959 Broadway 
musical. An unashamed escape from the 
harshness of contemporary life, The Sound 
of Music grossed almost $200 million worldwide 
on its first release. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Twentieth Century Fox 


Producer 


Robert Wise 


Screenplay 


Ernest Lehman 


Cinematography 


Ted McCord 


Choreography 


Marc Breaux, Dee Dee Wood 


Music & Lyrics 


Richard Rodgers (music) 




Oscar Hammerstein (lyrics) 



Awards Academy Awards: Best Picture, 

Best Director, Best Sound 
(Twentieth Century Fox sound 
department), Best Film Editing 
(William Reynolds), Best Adapted 
Music Score (Irwin Kostal) 



□ In this narrow 
alley in the Casbah, 
the Muslim section 
of Algiers, patrolling 
French soldiers pass 
by veiled women in an 
atmosphere fraught 
with tension. 




The Battle of Algiers 

DIRECTOR Gillo Pontecorvo 
RELEASED 1966 

Without recourse to any newsreel footage, director 
Gillo Pontecorvo managed to achieve a naturalistic 
quality in this stunning film about the French- 
Algerian War. In true cinema verite (see box) style, 
The Battle of Algiers probably comes closer to the 
truth and the complexities of the situation than 
any documentary. 

The guerilla war fought for Algerian independence 
from the French in 1954 is seen through the eyes 
of some of the participants, especially the central 
character Ali La Pointe (played by Brahim Haggiag), 
imprisoned for petty theft. He joins the cause after 
seeing a fellow Algerian's execution, and when 
recruited by the National Liberation Front, goes on 
to become a hero. The film was shot in the actual 
locations, from the dingy backstreets of the Casbah 
to the tree-lined avenues of the French quarter. 
Except for Jean Martin as Colonel Mathieu, the 
cast are all non-professional, and the film mixes 





311 



□ Maria (Julie 
Andrews) sings 
the title song in a 
grassy, flower-filled 
meadow encircled 
by the Austrian Alps in 
the opening sequence. 



the grainy texture of a newsreel with hand-held 
camera movements, depth of field, and dramatic 
close-ups. The subject of political controversy, 
it was banned in France for some years. Its main 
strength lies in its scrupulous attention to the views 
and problems on both sides. The torture of Algerians 
by the French is shown, but so is a devastating 
scene in which an Algerian plants a bomb in a 
restaurant, knowing it will kill innocent people. In 
the late 1960s, The Battle of Algiers {La Battaglia di 
Algeri) was watched by Americans opposed to the 
Vietnam War, and the Pentagon reportedly held 
a screening during the Iraq War. 

CREDITS 



Production Casbah/lgor 



Producer 


Antonio Musu, Yacef Saadi 


Screenplay 


Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas 


Cinematography 


Marcello Gatti 


Music 


Gillo Pontecorvo, 




Ennio Morricone 


Awards 


Venice: Best Film 



[cinema verite 

Dziga Vertov's Kino-pravda or "film-truth" was 
adopted in 1960s' France as cinema verite (see 
pp. 94-95). Improvements in 16-mm equipment 
(including the reduction in the weight of the 
cameras) made it possible to reduce a film crew 
down to two people. The movement developed 
simultaneously in the US as "Direct Cinema." 




□ Basic Training (1971), directed by Fred 
Wiseman, eavesdrops on life in a US Army 
training center in Fort Knox, Kentucky. 



312 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



Andrei Rublev 



□ Anatoli Solonitsyn 

plays the monk and 
artist Rublev. For 
director Tarkovsky, a 
horse was a "symbolic 
image," capturing the 
essence of life. 



DIRECTOR Andrei Tarkovsky 



RELEASED 1966 



This three-hour epic was shelved for some years 
by Soviet authorities, who felt it was too "dark" 
for the October Revolution's 50th anniversary. 
However, four years after it was made, the film 
was released in the West to great acclaim. 




The film consists of several imaginary episodes 
in the life of the great 1 5th-century icon painter 
Andrei Rublev (Anatoli Solonitsyn), as he journeys 
through feudal Russia. Rublev leaves the peace 
and seclusion of a monastery, and because of the 
cruelty and misery he witnesses— rape, pillage, 
and famine— he gradually abandons speech, 
his art, and religious faith. Finally, inspired by a 
young peasant who assumes the responsibility 
for making a huge bell, he realizes that creativity 
is still possible in the worst of conditions and 
regains his faith in the world. 



CREDITS 



Production 


Mosfilm 


Producer 


Tamara Ogorodnikova 


Screenplay 


Andrei Tarkovsky, 




Andrei Konchalovsky 


Cinematography 


Vadim Yusov 



Production Design Yevgeni Chernyayev 



The Chelsea Girls 



□ Andy Warhol 

prepares to film (from 
bottom to top) Mary 
Woronov, Nico, and 
International Velvet. 



DIRECTOR Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey 



RELEASED 1966 



A milestone of American Underground film, 
The Chelsea Girls marks the zenith of pop artist 
Andy Warhol's movie career and his breakthrough 
to national and international exposure. It features 




all the resident self-styled superstars of 
the "Factory" (his art space in New York's 
Manhattan), such as "Pope" Ondine. 

Consisting of twelve 35-minute reels, each 
representing the activities in one room of New 
York's Chelsea Hotel at 222, West 23rd Street, The 
Chelsea Girls is projected two reels at a time, side 
by side, bringing its six hours of footage to a running 
time of three hours. Each of the 1 2 reels, eight 
in black-and-white and four in color, consists 
of a single unedited shot in which personalities 
from Warhol's entourage (junkies, homosexuals, 
transvestites, and rock singers) act out their 
fantasies, some of which involve sex and "shooting 
up." The Chelsea Girls is a consistently fascinating 
document of the counter-culture of the time. 



CREDITS 


Producer 


Andy Warhol 


Screenplay 


Andy Warhol, Ronald Tavel 


Cinematography 


Andy Warhol 


Production 
Assistant 


Paul Morrissey 


Music 


The Velvet Underground 



BONNIE AND CLYDE 




E3 Gangsters Buck 
Barrow (Gene 
Hackman), Clyde 
Barrow (Warren 
Beatty), and Bonnie 
Parker (Faye Dunaway) 
hold up a bank. 



Bonnie and Clyde 



DIRECTOR Arthur Perm 



RELEASED 1967 



One of the most influential American movies in 
its amoral attitude toward the outlaw, seen from 
a modern psychological and social viewpoint, 
Bonnie and Clyde also depicts scenes of graphic 
violence— rare in mainstream films of the time. 

"They're young. ..they're in love. ..and they kill 
people...." was the effective publicity line of this 
most stylish and uncompromising of gangster 
pictures based on a true story. Faye Dunaway 
and Warren Beatty excel as Bonnie Parker and 
Clyde Barrow, infamous gun-toting criminals 
who roamed the American Midwest during the 
late 1 920s and early 1 930s. They are joined by 
a boy who works in a gas station, C.W. (Michael 
J. Pollard), Clyde's brother Buck Barrow (Gene 
Hackman), and his wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons), 
in a crime spree that includes murder. In this film, 
the bank robbers are portrayed as heroic and 
romantic— star-crossed lovers caught up in a 
whirl of violence and passion, meticulously evoked 



by posed photographs in sepia and carefully 
selected music and decor. The black comedy 
moves inevitably toward the much imitated 
ending in slow motion— the pair die in a hail of 
bullets. The film gave both Gene Hackman, who 
was Oscar-nominated for his role, and Gene Wilder 
(in his screen debut) their first chance to shine. 
The script was earlier offered to Jean-Luc Godard 
and Francois Truffaut, who turned it down, though 
the influence of the French New Wave is evident in 
Arthur Penn's bravura direction. 

CREDITS 



Production 



Tatira-Hiller, Warner Bros. 



Producer 


Warren Beatty 


Screenplay 


David Newman, 




Robert Benton 


Cinematography 


Burnett Guffey 


Art Director 


Dean Tavoularis 


Awards 


Academy Awards: 




Best Supporting Actress 




(Estelle Parsons), Best 




Cinematography 




D Film poster, 1967 



314 TOP 100 MOVIES 



The Wild Bunch 



□ Outlaws Ben 

Johnson, Warren Oates, 
William Holden, and 
Ernest Borgnine march 
across a Mexican town 
for a final shoot-out. 



DIRECTOR Sam Peckinpah 



RELEASED 1969 



On its release, The Wild Bunch caused a stir due to 
its graphic violence and amoral depiction of Texas 
outlaws as heroes. Today it is seen as an elegiac 
examination of "unchanged men in a changing 
land" and a landmark in the Western genre. 

In 1913, Pike Bishop (William Holden) and 
his band of aging outlaws, trying to live under 
the codes of the Old West, find themselves 




stalked by bounty hunters— one of whom is 
Pike's former friend Deke Thornton (Robert 
Ryan). The outlaws flee to Mexico where, in 
a gory, surrealistically choreographed, slow- 
motion climax, the gang is riddled by bullets. 
The Wild Bunch adopts a nostalgic view of the 
morals of the Old West and is a contemplation 
of the more romantic old Western. Beautifully 
photographed in widescreen by Lucien Ballard, 
with multiple angles and elaborate editing 
(six Panavision cameras were run together 
at different speeds), the film emanates a 
lyrical disenchantment. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Seven Arts 


Studio 


Warner Brothers 


Producer 


Phil Feldman 


Screenplay 


Walon Green, Sam Peckinpah, 




Roy N. Sickner 


Cinematography 


Lucien Ballard 


Editor 


Louis Lombardo 


Music 


Jerry Fielding 



Easy Rider 



Peter Fonda (left) 
as Wyatt and Dennis 
Hopper as Billy are 
hippie bikers from 
Los Angeles, riding 
to New Orleans— 
and destruction. 



DIRECTOR Dennis Hopper 



RELEASED 1969 



Made for less than $400,000, Easy Rider was a 
"sleeper" hit. The film's combination of drugs, 
rock music, violence, motorcycles, and its 
counter-culture stance caught the imagination 
of the young and earned over $50 million. 




Two hippies, Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis 
Hopper), hit the road on motorcycles "in search 
of the real America" but instead find hostility from 
small-town bigots. The odyssey ends when the 
two are shot down by a truck driver who despises 
their lifestyle. Stupidity, corruption, and violence 
are set against the potential freedom of the US 
in Hopper's first feature as director (and Fonda's 
as producer). Derived from the American "Direct 
Cinema" (see p. 95) documentaries of the early 1 960s, 
the movie relied on the expertise of cameraman 
Laszlo Kovacs. The folk-rock music soundtrack 
featured Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, The Byrds, Bob 
Dylan, and other counter-culture artists of the time. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Columbia 


Producer 


Peter Fonda 


Screenplay 


Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, 




Terry Southern 


Cinematography 


Laszlo Kovacs 




315 



LI « ROM AN I vSVBIECIT'ET * 1NPENSA 



- F 



I M V I 1 



rtnTi 



Q Jean-Louis 
Trintignant (Marcello) 
carries flowers to 
a Loved one through 
the streets of Rome. 




The Conformist 



DIRECTOR Bernardo Bertolucci 



RELEASED 1970 



An ironic and stylish study of a pre-war 
Italy, hauntingly evoked by Vittorio Storaro's 
camerawork, The Conformist [II Conformists) 
penetrates the mores of ordinary fascism. 
Bernardo BertoLucci's first commerciaiiy 
popular film, it is the most successful blend 
of his Freudian and political preoccupations. 

A professor in Italy in 1938, Marcello Clerici 
(Jean-Louis Trintignant) has suffered the 
childhood trauma of shooting a chauffeur who 
tried to seduce him. This experience, along 
with his own repressed homosexuality, contribute 
to his decision to enter into a bourgeois marriage 
with Giulia (Stefania Sandrelli) and offer his 
services to the Fascist party. He is asked to 
assassinate his former teacher, Professor Quadri 



(Enzo Tarascio), leader of an anti-Fascist 
group, but then has doubts about his 
mission. The Conformist sees the full 
flowering of Bertolucci's flamboyant style, 
with elaborate tracking shots, baroque camera 
angles, opulent color effects, ornate decor, and the 
intricate play of light and shadow. Trintignant brings 
conviction to his role and there are also enticing 
performances from Sandrelli and Dominique 
Sanda (as Anna, Professor Quadri's young wife), 
who dance a memorable tango together. 



mm 



□ Film poster, 1970 



CREDITS 


Producer 


Maurizio Lodi-Fe 


Screenplay 


Bernardo Bertolucci, from 




the novel by Alberto Moravia 


Cinematography 


Vittorio Storaro 


Music 


Georges Delerue 


Costume Design 


Gitt Magrini 



TOP 100 MOVIES 




□ In his shuttered 
room during his 
daughter's wedding, 
Don Corleone (Marlon 
Brando) Listens to one 
of several supplicants 
who want him to "deal 
with" their enemies. 



\ 



D Film poster, 1972 




The Godfather 



DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola 



RELEASED 1972 



With this film, Francis Ford Coppola made the 
public "an offer it could not refuse." The story, 
covering the rise of the Mafia and the Corleone 
crime family in the 1940s, builds up a rich pattern 
of relationships, meticulously detailing the rituals of 
an enclosed group. The film was one of the biggest 
commercial and critical successes of the 1970s, 
making sequels [The Godfather: Part II, 1974, and 
The Godfather: Part III, 1990) seem inevitable. 

Mafia boss Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is 
part of a society where murder is "nothing personal, 
just business." For all the excessive violence, 
justified by the plot and never arbitrary, the 
movie effectively conveys the codes of loyalty, love, 
masculine honor, and women's submissiveness 
that bind the family together. Even more than the 
killings, audiences seemed to have been shocked 
by the scene in which a Hollywood tycoon wakes 
up to find the bloody head of his horse in his bed. 
Coppola masterfully controls the material with the 



help of extraordinary chiaroscuro photography of 
the interiors and an outstanding cast led by Brando, 
who creates an iconographic figure with his throaty 
voice and papal hand gestures as he switches from 
stern Godfather to kindly paterfamilias. At the 
Oscars, Brando famously sent a Native American 
woman to the stage in his place to protest against 
their treatment in the US. 

CREDITS 



Studio 



Paramount 



Producer 


Alberts. Ruddy 


Screenplay 


Francis Ford Coppola, Mario 




Puzo, from the novel by Puzo 


Cinematography 


Gordon Willis 


Production 


Dean Tavoularis 


Design 




Set Decoration 


Philip Smith 


Music 


Nino Rota 


Costume Design 


Anna Hill Johnstone 


Awards 


Academy Awards: Best Picture, 




Best Actor (Marlon Brando), 




Best Screenplay 



AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD 



Aguirre, Wrath of God 

DIRECTOR Werner Herzog 
RELEASED 1972 



This film, known in German as Aguirre, der 
lorn Gottes, features a megalomaniac hero and 
is a powerful, hypnotic, epic tale of the depravity 
of imperialism. The director, Werner Herzog, had 
to overcome difficult conditions while filming in the 
Andes but its success, due mainly to the striking 
images, was proof that the hardships paid off. 

In the wilds of Peru, a 16th-century Spanish 
conquistador, Don Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), 
with the assistance of native slaves, leads a 
hazardous expedition over the mountains and 
down an uncharted river in search of the mythical 
kingdom of El Dorado. The fascination of this 
morality tale, presented in the guise of a true 
historical account, derives from the jungle 
atmosphere and pictorial flair, as well as Kinski's 
intense performance. (This was the first of five 
films he was to make with Herzog.) The opening 
long shot, of the expedition weaving its way down 



the mountain through the fog, is particularly 
effective, as is the final shot in which the camera 
circles rapidly around a raft littered with dead 
bodies and overrun with monkeys. The narrative 
is a steady stream of images, accompanied by 
brief pieces of dialogue, which not only set the 
pace of the film, but the mood as well. It is 
the topography of the landscape— the film was shot 
on location in the Peruvian rainforest near Puerto 
Maldonado— that dictates the action, rather than 
the actors. Indeed, the actors react strongly 
to their surroundings, which reflect and mirror the 
growing madness and the feverish hallucinations 
of the people on the doomed expedition. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Hessischer Rundfunk, 




Werner Herzog 


Producer 


Werner Herzog, Hans Prescher 


Screenplay 


Werner Herzog 


Cinematography 


Thomas Mauch 


Music 


Popol Vuh 




□ Klaus Kinski, as 

the film's protagonist, 
gives an enigmatic and 
frightening portrayal of 
human obsession and 
its consequences. 



TOP 100 MOVIES 



Nashville 



Q Karen Black 

plays Connie White, 
a country singer who 
uses Barbara Jean's 
(the reigning queen 
of Nashville) period 
out of the spotlight to 
bolster her own career. 



DIRECTOR Robert Altman 



RELEASED 1975 




This portrayal of a weekend in the lives of people 
working in the music business in Nashville — 
the world's country music capital— is a tour-de- 
force in its manipulation of characters and sound. 

To create this mosaic of characters, music, sights, 
and sounds, Robert Altman used 1 6 tracks for the 
sound-producing conversations, and a continuously 
moving camera, rhythmic cuts, and onscreen and 
offscreen commentaries. Particularly remarkable 
is the opening sequence at Nashville airport 
introducing all 24 characters. Conceived as a 
celebration of the US Bicentennial anniversary in 
1976, Nashville ironically reveals the dark side of 
the US— racial prejudice, selfishness, and vulgarity. 

CREDITS 



Studio 


Paramount Pictures 


Producer 


Robert Altman 


Screenplay 


Joan Tewkesbury 


Cinematography 


Paul Lohmann 


Awards 


Academy Awards: Best Song: 




I'm Easy (Keith Carradine) 



□ After strangling her 
lover Kichizo (Tatsuya 
Fuji) while having sex, 
geisha Sada (Eiko 
Matsuda) prepares for 
her final, terrible act. 



In the Realm of the Senses 

DIRECTOR Nagisa Oshima 
RELEASED 1976 

Director Nagisa Oshima's first big commercial 
success was, for many, in the realm of pornography. 
For others, it was a serious treatment of gender 
status and oppression, a link between eroticism 
and death, and an artistic breakthrough in the 
representation of explicit sex on screen. 




Kichizo (Tatsuya Fuji), a married man, and Sada 
(Eiko Matsuda), a geisha, retreat from militarist 
Japan of 1936 into a world of their own and act out 
their sexual fantasies obsessively. Finally, in a quest 
for the ultimate orgasm, Sada strangles and then 
castrates her lover. Based on a notorious murder 
case of the 1930s, Oshima's voyeuristic masterpiece 
is a blend of tenderness and brutality, ritual and 
spontaneity. The original title, Ai No Corrida, refers to 
a ritualized fight to death— corrida means "bullfight" 
in Spanish. In the 1 970s, the film created controversy 
and faced censorship problems in many countries. 
However, when the original uncut version was 
re-released in 2000, it caused only a ripple. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Argos Films, 
Oshima Productions 


Producer 


Anatole Dauman 


Screenplay 


Nagisa Oshima 


Cinematography 


Hideo Itoh 


Awards 


Cannes: Best Director 



Taxi Driver 



DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese 



RELEASED 1976 



This deeply disturbing drama, which examines 
alienation in urban society by combining elements 
of film noir, the Western, and horror movies, 
established Martin Scorsese as a major figure 
in world film and made Robert De Niro a star. 

A Vietnam War veteran, paranoid loner, and taxi 
driver, Travis Bickle (De Niro) has no friends. He sees 
New York as "an open sewer" populated by "scum" 
and "animals." De Niro immerses himself in the 
complex character; his monologue to a mirror— 
"You talkin' to me?"— has become one of the most 
famous sequences from 1970s film. Bickle 's diary 
entries— "Listen, you screwheads, here is someone 
who would not take it anymore"— force audiences 
into an ambivalent identification with him. Scorsese 
presents an apocalyptic view of the city, with steam 
hissing out of the streets, incessant traffic noise, 
and wailing sirens. This is contrasted with the 
haunting score by Bernard Herrmann (his last). 



Annie Hall 



DIRECTOR Woody Allen 



RELEASED 1977 



Until Annie Hall, Woody Allen was considered one 
of America's brightest new funnymen whose films 
were little more than a series of revue sketches. He 
was catapulted into the big time with this "nervous 
romance," which won four Oscars, made a fortune, 
and gained a cult following. 

The script, about the on-off relationship 
between Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), a television 
and nightclub comic, and budding vocalist Annie 
Hall (Diane Keaton), is semi-autobiographical, 
based loosely on the stars' real-life affair (Keaton's 
real name is Diane Hall and her nickname is 
Annie). In the film, their friendship begins during 
an indoor tennis match of mixed singles, which 
she wins, and continues through the Jewish 
Alvy's awkward and hilarious meeting with 
Annie's WASP family. The New York-loving Alvy 
then follows Annie to "mellow" California. The 
pair portray an intelligent, contemporary adult 






CREDITS 


Studio 


Columbia 


Production 


Bill/Phillips Productions, 




Italo/Judeo Productions 


Screenplay 


Paul Schrader 


Cinematography 


Michael Chapman 


Music 


Bernard Herrmann 



□ Robert De Niro's 
character, Travis Bickle, 
is perfectly described 
by the movie's tagline— 
"On every street in 
every city, there's 
a nobody who dreams 
of being a somebody...." 



Awards 



Cannes: Best Film 



couple with wit, accuracy, and an undercurrent of 
anxiety. Highlights include media guru Marshall 
McLuhan, playing himself, who suddenly appears 
to refute what a phoney, standing in line to see 
a Bergman movie, is saying about him. Keaton's 
unisex costume of baggy pants, white shirt, black 
waistcoat, knotted black tie, scarf, and felt hat 
oozed character and was a strong influence 
on what the well-dressed, liberated woman was 
to wear in the late 1970s. 



CREDITS 



Studio 



United Artists 



Producer 


Jack Rollins, 




Charles H.Joffe 


Screenplay 


Woody Allen, 




Marshall Brickman 


Cinematography 


Gordon Willis 


Awards 


Academy Awards: 




Best Picture, Best 




Actress (Diane Keaton), 




Best Director, 




Best Screenplay 





D Film poster, 1977 



Chewbacca (Peter 
Mayhew), Luke (Mark 
HamiU), Obi-Wan 
Kenobi (Alec Guinness), 
and Han Solo (Harrison 
Ford) set off to rescue 
Princess Leia from 
the evil clutches of 
Darth Vader and the 
Galactic Empire. 



Star Wars 

DIRECTOR George Lucas 
RELEASED 1977 



In Star Wars, a young man, Luke SkywaLker (Mark 
HamiU), is chosen by destiny to Lead the resistance 
against the Galactic Empire. George Lucas' fantasy 
film inspired generations of audiences— and 
forever changed the way movies are marketed. 

Lucas modeled his universe— set "a long time 
ago in a galaxy far, far away"— on the Saturday 
action serials he enjoyed as a child, but he also 
studied Joseph Campbell's work on mythologies 

^CREDITs" 



Studio Twentieth Century Fox 



Production 


Lucasfilm 


Producer 


Gary Kurtz 


Screenplay 


George Lucas 


Cinematography 


Gilbert Taylor 



Awards Academy Awards: Best Art 

Direction (John Barry, Norman 
Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Roger 
Christian), Best Costume 
Design (John Mollo), Best 
Effects, Best Film Editing 
(Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, 
Richard Chew), Best Music 
(John Williams), Best Sound 



and borrowed significantly from Akira Kurosawa's 
samurai film The Hidden Fortress (1958). The 
structure of Star Wars was enough to fascinate 
adolescent boys— without complicating what is 
essentially a simple fable of good and evil. It was also 
able to hold two sequels and, 20 years later, three 
prequels. An unexpected hit (sci-fi didn't translate 
into box office returns then), it transformed the 
movie industry, and ushered in a new era of special 
effects-driven movies aimed at a youth audience, 
released on as many screens as possible, and with 
a marketing budget offset by merchandising. Lucas 
became a billionaire and established Industrial 
Light & Magic, a leading special effects company. 

I^THE RISE OF THE BLOCKBUSTER™ 

The word "blockbuster" refers either 
to a big-budget movie that catches the 
public's attention, or to a film that has 
broken box office records, such as Jaws 
(1975), the first film to earn $100 million 
in domestic ticket sales. Jaws ushered in 
the "blockbuster era" during which Star 
Wars became the biggest blockbuster of the 
1 970s. The blockbusters of the late 1 970s 
and early 1 980s were mostly fantasy films, 
such as E.T. (1 982) and Back to the Future 
(1985), while those of the 1990s, such as 
Terminator 2 (1991) and The Matrix (1999), 
were darker and more violent. 



THE DEER HUNTER 



321 



The Deer Hunter 



DIRECTOR Michael Cimino 



RELEASED 1978 



The first major American movie about the Vietnam 
War and its aftermath, The Deer Hunter won 
five Oscars. Because of its impact, Hollywood 
discovered that audiences were ready to accept 
the disastrous war as a subject— as testified 
by the number of films in the early 1980s 
that dealt with it. 

Although there are several scenes set 
during the Vietnam conflict, the film's principal 
theme is friendship and the psychological and 
social effects of the war on a small community— 
here, a Pennsylvanian industrial town acting as 
the microcosm. Hunting and drinking buddies 
Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher 
Walken), and Steven (John Savage) volunteer 
to go to Vietnam together and are thrown into 
the hell of war, which affects their lives forever. 
Steven ends up in a wheelchair, Nick shoots 
himself in the head, and Michael learns 



CREDITS 


Production 


EMI, Universal 


Producer 


Michael Cimino, Barry Spikings, 




Michael Deeley, John Peverall 


Screenplay 


Michael Cimino, Deric 




Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, 




Quinn K. Redeker 


Cinematography 


Vilmos Zsigmond 


Music 


Stanley Myers 



Awards Academy Awards: 

Best Picture, Best Director, 
Best Supporting Actor 
(Christopher Walken), 
Best Editing (Peter Zinner], 
Best Sound (C. Darin Knight, 
William L. McCoughey, 
Richard Portman, Aaron Rochin) 



the dangers of the macho code he lived by. 
Director Cimino orchestrates the set pieces 
brilliantly— the wedding, the hunt, and the 
sequence when the American POWs are 
forced by their captors to play Russian roulette, 
which is a metaphor for the futility of war. 




Mike (Robert De 
Niro) hunts for deer 
in the mountains for 
the final time before 
going to Vietnam. 




322 



□ Hanna Schygulla, 

seen here with Karl 
Oswald (Ivan Desny), 
plays the seductive 
and scantily dressed 
Maria Braun, a strong 
woman who exploits 
the men in her life 
in order to prosper in 
post-war Germany. 




The Marriage 
of Maria Braun 



DIRECTOR Rainer Werner Fassbinder 



RELEASED 1979 



Fassbinder's biggest international box office 
success is his most effective onslaught on Germany's 
"economic miracle" of the 1950s. Part of the New 
Wave movement (see box), the film is also a dramatic 
and subtle picture of an indomitable woman. 

Maria Braun (Hanna Schygulla) survives in 
wartime Berlin, while her husband Hermann (Klaus 
Lowitsch) fights at the Eastern Front. On his return, 
he is imprisoned for killing Bill (George Eagles), 
an African-American G.I. who had befriended his 
wife while he was away. Maria then takes up with 
industrialist Karl Oswald (Ivan Desny), rising to a 
position of wealth and power. The Marriage of Maria 



Braun is the first of Fassbinder's trilogy (followed 
by Lola, 1981 and Veronika Voss, 1982) on women 
struggling to survive in post-war Germany. A blend of 
classical Hollywood melodrama with current socio- 
political themes, it has superbly conceived comic 
and soap-opera incidents. The camera effectively 
follows Hanna with long, sweeping movements. 



[ 



NEW GERMAN FILM 



Among the first of the New Wave of German 
films to make an impression were Alexander 
Kluge's Yesterday Girl and Volker Schlondorff's 
Young Torless, both of which were made in 
1966. The former, set in the 1950s, follows a 
rebellious young East German girl who escapes 
to the West, while the latter is set in a semi- 
military boarding school for embryonic Nazis. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Albatros, Fengler, Filmverlag, 




Tango Film, Trio Film, WDR 


Producer 


Michael Fengler 


Screenplay 


Peter Marthesheimer, 




Pea Frohlich 


Cinematography 


Michael Ballhaus 


Music 


Peer Raben 


Awards 


Berlin: Best Actress 




(Hanna Schygulla] 




□ Angela Winkler greets Jurgen Prochnow 
(right) in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum 

(1 975), Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe 
von Trotta's statement on terrorism. 



E T THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 



323 



E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg 
RELEASED 1982 



One of oniy a handful of Live-action films to capture 
the imagination of generations of children and 
their parents, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial remains 
Steven Spielberg's best-loved movie (inspired 
by an imaginary friend he created after his parents' 
divorce), and many see it as his most heartfelt. 

Kicking off with a quick, precise sketch of a typical 
middle-class suburban California household, much 
like the one in which Spielberg grew up, the film 
quickly gets down to the business of introducing 
young Elliott (Henry Thomas) to his new best friend. 
A short, brown, waddling creature with four rubbery 
limbs, a retractable neck, and eyes the size of 
headlamps, E.T. basically plays the dog in this movie, 
but he's a dog with supernatural powers— telepathy 
and telekinesis. The movie may not really stand up 
to logical analysis (E.T. can build an interstellar 
communicator but seems to have nothing to say to 
earthlings), but from a child's (or E.T.'s) innocent 
viewpoint, it works well on an emotional level. E.T. 
goes through an accelerated life-cycle with Elliott 
as his protector, teacher, and surrogate parent. 
The scene showing a dying E.T is heartbreaking. 
However, the power of love resurrects the lovable 
alien in time for the literally uplifting climax— and 
Elliott's own emotional education is complete. 




Q The flying bicycle 

silhouetted against 
a full moon was 
later adopted as the 
logo for Spielberg's 
Amblin Entertainment 
production company. 



I 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Universal 


Producer 


Kathleen Kennedy, 




Steven Spielberg 


Screenplay 


Melissa Mathison 


Cinematography 


Allen Daviau 



Awards Academy Award: Best Visual 

Effects (Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis 
Muren, Kenneth Smith), Best 
Music (John Williams), Best 
Sound (Robert Knudson, Robert 
Glass, Don Digirolamo, Gene 
S. Cantamessa), Best Sound 
Effects Editing (Charles L. 
Campbell, Ben Burtt) 




□ E.T.'s repeated 
request, "E.T. phone 
home," became the 
film's catchphrase; 
here, Elliott (Henry 
Thomas) and his 
vulnerable alien 
friend are about 
to part forever. 



i 



324 TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Deckard (Harrison 
Ford) struggles to evade 
death, in a scene that 
brilliantly combines 
conventions of 21st- 
century sci-fi and 1940s 
detective film noir. 



Blade Runner 




DIRECTOR Ridley Scott 



RELEASED 1982 



□ Film poster, 1982 



This movie is among the most discussed and 
influential science fiction films ever made. Ridley 
Scott's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, 
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, filters the 
story through a retro noir sensibility appropriate 
to the Los Angeles setting. 

Harrison Ford plays the role of Deckard, 
a "blade runner" hired to "retire" four rogue 
replicants— organic robots so lifelike that they 
don't even know they're not human. In the course 
of his pursuit, Deckard falls in love with another 
replicant (Sean Young), and comes to question 
his own— ambiguous— humanity. Although the 
plot is thin, the movie's visuals are astonishingly 
layered. Scott's imagination knows no bounds here. 
The movie's spectacular cityscapes are reminiscent 
of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), while the street- 



level scenes give equally vivid impressions of 
a social fabric torn every which way. Although 
it was a failure at the box office, Blade Runner 
became a key cult movie, and was among the first 
titles to benefit from a restored "director's cut" 
when it was re-released in 1 991 . This version was 
actually shorter than the original; it dispensed 
with the lugubrious noir voice-over; and had a 
bleaker ending. Crucially, this version also carried 
clearer intimations that Deckard himself might be 
a replicant. Ironically, this makes him all the more 
human because he finally realizes his brotherhood 
with the android combatant (Rutger Hauer). 

CREDITS 



Production 


The Ladd Company 


Producer 


Michael Deeley 


Screenplay 


Hampton Fancher, David Webb 




Peoples 


Cinematography 


Jordan Cronenweth 



PARIS, TEXAS 



325 



Paris, Texas 



DIRECTOR WimWenders 



RELEASED 1984 



The film's title suggests a meeting between the 
old and the new world, and Paris, Texas expertly 
reworks elements of both classical Hollywood 
and European art film, in this successful 
collaboration between German director Wim 
Wenders and American writer Sam Shepard. 

Wenders saw his chance to explore the vast 
American landscape— both urban and rural— 
in Paris, Texas and used the place of the same 
name as the setting for the story of Travis— his lost 
protagonist. Brilliantly portrayed by melancholy 
character actor Harry Dean Stanton, Travis does not 
speak for the opening 20 minutes, and is first seen 




■ CREDITS 


Production 


Road Movies/Balin Argos 


Producer 


Don Guest, Anatole Dauman 


Screenplay 


Sam Shepard 


Cinematography 


Robby Muller 


Music 


Ry Cooder 


Awards 


Cannes: Best Film 



walking alone in the Texan desert. Neither he nor the 
audience knows where he comes from or where he 
is going. Gradually, we learn that he wishes to see 
Hunter (Hunter Carson)— the son he left some years 
ago in the care of his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell)— 
and is trying to find his estranged French wife Jane 
(Nastassja Kinski), hoping, in vain, to put the pieces 
of his life back together again. He does find his wife 
and son, only to lose them once again. Wenders, with 
the help of Ry Cooder's haunting score and Robby 
Muller's stunning camerawork, evokes a poignant 
world in which communication between people 
has become complex but not impossible. 




Q Jane (Nastassja 
Kinski) listens to Travis 
(Harry Dean Stanton), 
separated by a one-way 
mirror, as he reminisces 
about their life together. 



Q A gaunt and 
unshaven Travis 

(Harry Dean Stanton) 
wanders aimlessly 
across the bleak 
Texan desert. 




TOP 100 MOVIES 



Heimat 



□ In Part III, A 
Chronicle of Endings 
and Beginnings (20 OA), 
Heiko Senst (center) 
plays Tobi, a young 
construction worker 
from East Germany. 



DIRECTOR Edgar Reitz 



RELEASED 1984, 1992, 2004 



Consisting of three series of 30 films, and running 
at 42 hours, Edgar Reitz's Heimat [Homeland} is an 
amusing, moving, and absorbing soap opera. Filmed 
in color and monochrome, it mirrors Germany's 
history from 1919 onward, through the eyes of 
ordinary people as the characters age and develop. 




Part I, A German Chronicle, depicts life in Hunsruck, 
a fictitious German village. The protagonist Maria 
(Marita Breuer) marries into the Simon family. Part 
II, Chronicle of a Generation, is set in 1960s Munich 
and focuses on a group of young people, including 
Maria's son Hermann (Henry Arnold), a struggling 
composer. Part III, A Chronicle of Endings and 
Beginnings, starts with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 
1 989, as Hermann, now an internationally respected 
conductor, returns to Hunsruck with his lover 
Clarissa (Salome Kammer). Particularly fascinating 
is the depiction of the Nazis and how their ideology 
filtered down to taint otherwise decent citizens. 

w 

CREDITS 



Production 


Edgar Reitz, WDR.SFB 


Producer 


Edgar Reitz 


Screenplay 


Edgar Reitz, Peter Steinbach 


Cinematography 


Gemot Roll, Gerard 




Vanderbergh, Christian Reisz 


Music 


Nikos Mamangakis 



ED Aleksei Kravchenko 

plays Florya, a teenage 
boy scarred by his 
nightmarish experiences 
during the war— he 
discovers his village 
destroyed and his 
family butchered 
by the Germans. 



Come and See 



DIRECTOR Elem Klimov 



RELEASED 1985 



This moving and powerful film, the last to be 
directed by Elem Klimov, depicts the war that took 
place in Belorussia in 1943, as experienced by 
a 1 6-year-old boy whose family and village have 
been destroyed by the Nazis. 




The viewer is invited to "come and see" Florya 
(Aleksei Kravchenko) as he wanders alone, 
witnessing a series of Nazi atrocities, until he 
joins a group of partisans as a hardened and active 
participant. Some unforgettable images include 
the agonizing struggle through a swamp to reach 
an encampment of lamenting women, and the 
journey to find food, accompanied by an effigy of 
Hitler. A sense of derangement is heightened by the 
film's soundtrack, most notably when the bombing 
of a village damages Florya 's hearing. Come and 
See has no heroic catharsis or narrative symmetry. 
Instead, Klimov's apocalyptic vision focuses on the 
destruction of a young life and the horrors of war. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Belarusfilm/Mosfilm 


Screenplay 


Ales Adamovich, Elem Klimov, 




based on the works of Adamovich 


Music 


Oleg Yanchenko 


Cinematography 


Aleksei Rodionov 


Awards 


Moscow International Film 




Festival: Golden Prize 



BLUE VELVET 





Blue Velvet 

DIRECTOR David Lynch 
RELEASED 1986 



David Lynch's radical fable is one of the seminal 
films of the 1 980s, spawning a number of (inferior) 
imitations. Initially a satire on the complacency of 
small-town America, it turns into a parable of evil 
where corruption is found in the most unlikely places. 

Blue Velvet opens with dreamlike images of 
America: perfect houses with white picket fences 
and impeccably manicured lawns. A man collapses 
while watering his lawn, and the camera reveals a 
colony of swarming bugs in the grass. A little later, 
college student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) 
finds a severed ear in a field; when he and Sandy 
(Laura Dern) try to solve the mystery, it leads them 
into film noir territory with a femme fatale (Isabella 
Rossellini) and a sadistic villain (Dennis Hopper). 
"Are you a detective or a pervert?" Sandy asks 
Jeffrey at one point. The answer, perhaps, is that he, 
the director, and the audience are being a bit of both. 



CREDITS 



Production 


De Laurentiis 




Entertainment Group 


Producer 


Richard Roth 


Music 


Angelo Badalamenti, 




David Lynch 


Screenplay 


David Lynch 


Cinematography 


Frederick Elmes 



□ Gangster Dennis 
Hopper snorts gas 
through an insectlike 
mask and forces 
Isabella Rossellini— 
a nightclub singer 
known as The Blue 
Lady— to have sex 
with him. 



■■See that clock on the wall? 
In five minutes you are not 
going to believe what 
I just told you ■■ 



Jeffrey Beaumont 




TOP 100 MOVIES 



Q An eyewitness 

arrives at Treblinka by 
train, one of many who 
recount the horror and 
tragedy of shoah (an 
Israeli word meaning 
"catastrophic upheaval"). 



Shoah 



DIRECTOR Claude Lanzmann 



RELEASED 1985 



Lanzmann's monumental documentary, over 
nine hours long, on the calculated extermination 
of Europe's Jews by the Nazis is both a tribute 
to those who died and a warning. Although the 
film begins by saying, "This is an untellable 
story," it manages, as far as possible, to describe 
the indescribable. 




In Shoah, survivors of the Nazi extermination 
camps (at Treblinka, Auschwitz, and elsewhere), 
Polish bystanders— who make no attempt to hide 
their past or anti-Semitism— and a handful of 
"former" Nazi officials, recall the Holocaust. Under 
Lanzmann's unwavering and detailed questioning, 
they reveal the barbarism of the atrocities and the 
minutiae of the planning that went into the Final 
Solution. The nightmarish conditions of the Warsaw 
ghetto are described, and harrowing stories told. 
Lanzmann spent 10 years traveling and visiting 
the scenes of the crimes to amass his towering 
document, edited from 350 hours of film. No 
archival footage is used in this terrible testimony, 
which is made all the more powerful for it. 



CREDITS 



Production 



Les Films Aleph, Historia 



Cinematography Dominique Chapuis, Jimmy 

Glasberg, William Lubtchansky 



Awards 



Berlin: Caligari Film Award 



□ Lucy Honeychurch 

(Helena Bonham 
Carter) falls under 
the spell of Italy with 
free-spirited George 
Emerson (Julian 
Sands) in a lush field 
outside Florence. 



A Room With a View 

DIRECTOR James Ivory 
RELEASED 1985 

The first of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels 
by director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, 
and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (the others 
being Maurice, 1987 and Howards End, 1991) A Room 
with a View perfectly captures Forster's wit and idiom. 




The film deals with with the stultifying, hypocritical 
restrictions of Edwardian society. Sheltered Lucy 
(Helena Bonham Carter), vacationing in Florence 
with her chaperone Charlotte (Maggie Smith), 
shares a kiss with bohemian George (Julian Sands). 
Back in England, she seems to settle for stuffy 
Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis) although her heart is 
with George. Ivory vividly contrasts Italy's untamed 
landscape, which triggers Lucy's sexual awakening, 
with the dampening effect of pastoral England. 



11 * * 



CREDITS 


Production 


Merchant-Ivory, Goldcrest 


Producer 


Ismail Merchant 


Screenplay 


Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, from 
the novel by E.M. Forster 


Cinematography 


Tony Pierce-Roberts 


Awards 


Academy Awards: Best Adapted 
Screenplay, Best Art Direction 
(Gianni Quaranta, Brian 
Ackland-Snow, Brian Savegar, 
Elio Altramura), Best Costume 
Design (Jenny Beavan, 
John Bright) 



WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN 329 




Women on the Verge of 
a Nervous Breakdown 

DIRECTOR Pedro Almodovar 
RELEASED 1988 

Although Pedro Almodovar had previously made 
seven features, it was this anarchic farce that sealed 
his career, becoming 1 989's highest-grossing 
foreign film in North America and the most 
successful film ever in Spain, where it is called 
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios. 

Pepa (played by a smouldering Carmen Maura) 
is a volatile and attractive television actress who is 
pregnant by Ivan (Fernando Guillen), her married 
philandering lover. Unaware of her condition, he 
blithely abandons her, leaving a message on her 
answering machine. As all her efforts to contact 
him fail, Pepa grows more and more hysterical, 
and is precipitated into a series of increasingly 
bizarre and surreal situations. As in the best of 
farces, the film's arrangement of irrational events 
is held together by an internal logic that is very 
funny. Like many a French bedroom farce, most of 
the action takes place in one setting— Pepa's trendy 



Madrid penthouse apartment, which becomes 
overpopulated with eccentric, desperate women. 
Among them is Ivan's deranged wife Lucia (Julieta 
Serrano), intent on taking revenge on her unfaithful 
husband, and Pepa's best friend Candela, who 
has fallen in love with a terrorist. Also making 
an appearance is a young, bespectacled Antonio 
Banderas as Carlos, Ivan's 20-year-old son. There 
is a feminist message beneath the comic events, 
played out in true screwball comedy style, as all 
the women are frustrated by the childish egotism 
of the men with whom they get involved. Audiences 
were mainly attracted by Almodovar's campy brand 
of humor and distinctive visual style that was 
influenced by the Hollywood of the 1950s. 



CREDITS 




Production 


Rank, El Deseo, 
Laurenfilm, Orion 


Producer 


Pedro Almodovar 


Screenplay 


Pedro Almodovar 


Cinematography 


Jose Luis Alcaine 


Music 


Bernardo Bonezzi 




□ Spanish film 
poster, 1988 



Lucia (Julieta 
Serrano), determined 
to kill her unfaithful 
husband, brandishes 
twin pistols in the 
"other woman's" 
apartment. 



330 TOP 100 MOVIES 




□ Salvatore (Salvatore 
Cascio as the young 
boy) is taught how 
to edit films and run 
the movie projector 
by his mentor, Alfredo 
(Philippe Noiret). 



Cinema Paradiso 



□ Father figure 

Alfredo cycles down a 
village pathway in Sicily 
with young Salvatore. 




DIRECTOR Giuseppe Tornatore 



RELEASED 15 



This heartwarming film takes a nostalgic look 
at the lure of film and the death of the picture 
palace through the eyes of a child. Understandably, 
Cinema Paradiso has become one of the most 
popular Italian films of the last few decades, 
both in Italy and elsewhere. 

The story, told in flashbacks, is about Salvatore 
(Salvatore Cascio), a little boy who lives with his 
harrassed, widowed mother in a small, grim, 
war-torn Sicilian village. He finds refuge from 
the daily misery of life by sneaking into Nuovo 
Cinema Paradiso, the local movie hall. The 
projectionist, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), soon 
becomes his friend and teacher. When Alfredo is 
blinded in a fire, he teaches the boy to take over 
his job, but ultimately encourages him to leave 
the stifling confines of the village. In his teens, 
Salvatore falls in love with a banker's daughter, 
Elena (Agnese Nano), and wins her over by 
taking Alfredo's advice to stand outside her 



window every night. Years later, when an older 
Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) has become a 
successful filmmaker, he watches a montage 
bequeathed to him by Alfredo, of all the kissing 
scenes that had been deleted from the Paradiso's 
films over the years by the village priest (played 
by Leopoldo Trieste). A poignant reminder, 
helped by Ennio Morricone's haunting musical 
score, of how personal the film experience 
can be, Cinema Paradiso is a movie that stirs 
memories of childhood. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Cristaldifilm, Ariane, 




RAI.TF1 


Producer 


Franco Cristaldi, 




Giovanna Romagnoli 


Screenplay 


Giuseppe Tornatore 


Cinematography 


Blasco Giurato 


Music 


Ennio Morricone 


Awards 


Cannes: Special Jury Prize; 




Academy Award: Best 




Foreign Film 



DO THE RIGHT THING 



331 



Do the Right Thing 

DIRECTOR Spike Lee 
RELEASED 1989 

A high watermark in US independent film and 
certainly the most important African-American 
film to date, Spike Lee's third feature is a stylized, 
provocative distillation of racial tensions in Brooklyn, 
New York, toward the end of the 20th century. 

Set over the course of a swelteringly hot summer 
day, the film follows Mookie, a pizza delivery boy 
(played by Lee himself), as he goes about the 
neighborhood. Along the way, we encounter various 
black and Hispanic youths, such as Radio Raheem 
(Bill Nunn) and Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito); 
their elders (Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee); and 
Mookie's employers at the pizzeria, Sal (Danny 
Aiello) and his sons, the racist Pino (John Turturro) 



CREDITS 


Production 


40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks 


Producer 


John Ki Lick, Spike Lee, 




Monty Ross 


Screenplay 


Spike Lee 


Cinematography 


Ernest R. Dickerson 



and color-blind Vito (Richard Edson). Shot in 
bold, heavily saturated colors with a blaring 
rap soundtrack [Fight the Power by Public Enemy 
is prominent), the film bristles with energy and 
purpose. Tapping a rich vein of street comedy, 
Lee confronts racist attitudes before magnifying 
the tensions in a morally ambiguous climax 
that reflects contemporary controversies over 
police brutality. Although derided by some as 
inflammatory, the film is vibrant and searching. 



Do The Right Thing 

featured varied and 
colorful characters such 
as Clifton (far left) and 
Buggin' Out (second 
from left). 





TOP 100 MOVIES 



□ Gong Li plays 
Songlian, the beautiful 
new bride of a feudal 
patriarch. Here, she is 
bathed in the rich glow 
of the red lanterns in 
her bedroom as she 
awaits her husband. 



Raise the Red Lantern 

DIRECTOR Zhang Yimou 
RELEASED 1991 



One of the first Chinese films to be widely shown 
in the West, Raise the Red Lantern [Da hong deng 
Long gao gao gua) was a great success. This can 
be ascribed to the gripping humanistic story it 
tells, its exoticism, stunning visual imagery, and 
the radiant, stately beauty of its star, Gong Li, the 
muse of its director, Zhang Yimou. 

In the China of the 1920s, Songlian (Gong Li) 
becomes the fourth wife of Master Chen (Ma 
Jingwu), a rich and powerful landowner. It is the 
patriarch's tradition to light red lanterns outside 
the apartment of the wife he intends to join for the 
night. Most of the film takes place within one small 
compound where all four wives become rivals for 
their master's attentions. Intrigue and scheming 
mark the relationships between them and the 
young Songlian soon learns that she has to fight 



CREDITS 
Production 



Century Communications, 
ERA International, China Film 
Co-production Corporation, 
Salon Films 



Producer Chiu Fu-Sheng, Hou Hsiao- 

hsien, Zhang Wenze 

Screenplay Ni Zhen, based on Wives and 

Concubines, a story by Su Tong 

Cinematography Zhao Fei, Yang Lun 



for her status in this convoluted domestic set-up. 
The house is seen through the seasons of a year; 
the interiors of the four apartments are in vibrant 
reds, oranges, and yellows in spaces marked 
out for passion. The Chinese government banned 
the film from the country, obviously seeing that, 
beneath the surface story, there is a parable of 
an authoritarian government, represented by the 
master, who allows no freedom of expression to 
the individual, represented by Songlian. 




UNFORGIVEN 



333 




□ Bill (Clint Eastwood), 
Ned (Morgan Freeman), 
and Schofield Kid 
(Jaimz Woolvett) team 
up to teach a ruthless 
sheriff a Lesson. 



Unforgiven 



DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood 



RELEASED 1992 



The movie that finally gave Clint Eastwood Oscar 
recognition after 40 years in the business, Unforgiven 
is a gripping Western, a genre in which Eastwood 
made his name. Returning to the genre's roots, 
the veteran actor gave the Western a kiss of life. 

Eastwood dedicated the film to "Sergio and 
Don"— the directors of low-budget Westerns, 
Sergio Leone and Don Siegel were his most 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Warner Bros. 


Producer 


Clint Eastwood 


Screenplay 


David Webb Peoples 


Cinematography 


Jack N. Green 


Art Direction 


Rick Roberts, 




Adrian Gorton 



Awards Academy awards: Best Picture, 

Best Director, Best Supporting 
Actor (Gene Hackman), 
Best Editing (Joel Cox) 



important mentors. However, Unforgiven perhaps 
owes even more to John Ford than these two 
directors. When Little Bill Daggett (Gene 
Hackman), a dictatorial sheriff of a small frontier 
town, denies justice to a prostitute whose face has 
been viciously slashed by two clients, the brothel 
women hire Bill Munny (Eastwood), a once-ruthless 
gunfighter, now a hog farmer, to kill the culprits. 
He teams up with his old partner Ned Logan 
(Morgan Freeman) and the young Schofield 
Kid (Jaimz Woolvett), and embarks on the 
trail until the final showdown. 

While exploring the darker side 
of the myths of the Old West, the 
movie is striking in its willingness 
to confront the effects of violence 
on both those who commit it 
and those who suffer it. For 
Eastwood, there are no heroes 
because even the good are 
capable of evil. He shatters 
illusions about heroism in the 
film, portraying the ugliness and pain that 
violence brings. According to Eastwood, 
Unforgiven "summarized everything I 
feel about the Western. The moral is 
the concern with gunplay." 



□ Avenger Bill Munny 

(Clint Eastwood) is 
tormented by memories 
of his past crimes, but 
when the sheriff kills his 
friend Ned, he forgets 
his remorse and goes 
on a killing spree. 




334 TOP 100 MOVIES 




Q Steve Buscemi 

(on the floor) plays Mr. 
Pink and Harvey Keitel 
plays Larry Dimmick 
alias Mr. White, seen 
here in the film's 
climactic shoot-out. 



Reservoir Dogs 



DIRECTOR Quentin Tarantino 



RELEASED 1992 



For many the most distinctive and exciting voice 
to emerge from US film in the 1990s, Quentin 
Tarantino announced himself with this bravura 
crime thriller. Smaller in scale than his subsequent 
output, Reservoir Dogs features all the elements 
that would soon become Tarantino staples. 

The director begins the film in the middle of 
a failed diamond robbery, and carves the story 
into a series of chapters introducing each of the 
gangsters in turn. He borrows from the heist movie 
catalogue— Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956), 
Ringo Lam's City on Fire (1987), and the underworld 
milieu of Jean-Pierre Melville— all but omitting 
the robbery itself. The aftermath is a bloody trial of 



conflicting loyalties and festering suspicions as the 
crooks convene to figure out what (or who) went 
wrong. Tarantino's profane dialogue puts its own 
ironic spin on things— the heavies talk like movie- 
obsessed ordinary people, not like gangsters; 
scenes of blood-soaked gore are juxtaposed with 
well-known tunes from the 1970s. However, it is 
the disquieting ease with which post-modern cool 
shifts to violence— making it easy to overlook 
the pain beneath— that caused a stir at the time. 



CREDITS 




Production 


Live Entertainment, 




Dog Eat Dog 


Producer 


Lawrence Bender 


Screenplay 


Quentin Tarantino 


Cinematography 


Andrzej Sekula 



THREE COLORS: BLUE, WHITE, AND RED 




Three Colors: Blue, 
White, and Red 

DIRECTOR Krzysztof Kieslowski 
RELEASED 1993, 1994 

The colors of the titles of Polish director Krzystof 
Kieslowski's trilogy, his final work, refer to the 
colors of the French flag, while the themes are 
allied to the country's Revolutionary slogan 
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." All three films offer 
sensual, emotional, and spiritual experiences 
rarely so well-depicted in contemporary film. 

The trilogy is about people separated from those 
they love, but each film is different in tone, moving 
from meditative drama {Blue), through oblique social 
comedy [White], to a symbolic mystery-romance 
[Red). In Blue, after the deaths of her composer 
husband and young daughter in a car crash, Julie 
(Juliette Binoche) seeks to free herself from 
everyone and everything that reminds her of her 
past. In White, Polish hairdresser Karol (Zbigniew 
Zamachowski), returning to his homeland, makes a 
success of his life, aiming to take revenge on the wife 
who has spurned him. In Red, Valentine (Irene Jacob), 
a model, develops a relationship with an elderly, 
cynical judge Joseph Kern (Jean-Louis Trintignant). 
Kieslowski's stylish visuals and use of locations are 
a fitting epitaph to one of Europe's best directors. 






CREDITS 


Production 


CED, Canal+, Fonds Eurimages, 
France 3 Cinema, MK2, TOR, TSR 


Producer 


Marin Karmitz 


Screenplay 


Agnieszka Holland, 
Slawomir Idziak, Kieslowski, 
Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Edward 
Zebrowski, Edward Klosinski 


Cinematography 


Slawomir Idziak [Blue], 
Edward Klosinski [White], 
Piotr Sobocinski [Red] 


Music 


Zbigniew Preisner 






In fled (1994), a 
film that explores the 
nuances of fraternity 
and platonic love, 
Valentine (Irene Jacob) 
models for a poster 
that visually illustrates 
the film's theme of 
loneliness. 



In fl/i/e (1993), 
Kieslowski's film about 
the imperfection of 
human liberty, Julie 
(Juliette Binoche) 
reflects on her vain 
search for freedom 
from the past. 




336 



Q Fifteen-year-old 
Tahereh Ladanian 

(as herself) stands 
on the balcony of her 
grandmother's house, 
listening to pledges 
of love from her co- 
star Hossein Rezai 
(out of shot). 




Through the Olive Trees 

DIRECTOR Abbas Kiarostami 
RELEASED 1994 

Although Abbas Kiarostami had been making feature 
films since 1974, it was only in the 1990s, with 
Through the Olive Trees Wire darakhatan zeytonl, 
that he was recognized as the leading force behind 
the flood of high-quality Iranian movies that began 
to win prizes at international film festivals. 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Ahh^c: Ki^rnQt^mi nrnrli irtinnQ 

rA UUu J rxlCilVJOlCillll Ul UUULUUI ID, 




CiBy 2000, Farabi Cinema 




Foundation, Miramax 


Producer 


Abbas Kiarostami 


Screenwriter 


Abbas Kiarostami 


Cinematography 


Hossein Djafarian, Farhad Saba 



In 1992, Kiarostami directed And Life Goes On, 
about a film being made on the survivors of an 
earthquake in Iran. Through the Olive Trees, set in 
the same area, is a comedy about a director casting 
and making another picture. The most fascinating 
aspect of this film within a film is that the audience 
never knows what is real and what is fiction. The 
celebrated final sequence follows the two main 
actors, who are having a "real life" romance, in 
extreme long shot as the boy persuades the girl 
to marry him. The movie, at once simple and 
complex, intimate and distant, is full of insights 
into filmmaking, society, and human relationships. 



Q The habitually late 
Charles (Hugh Grant) 
and his friend Scarlett 
(Charlotte Coleman) 
race to the wedding of 
a friend, where Charles 
has been asked to be 
best man. 



Four Weddings 
and a Funeral 



DIRECTOR Mike Newell 



RELEASED 1994 



After the highs and lows that British film went 
through during the 1970s and 1980s, it was this 
romantic comedy that hit the jackpot, making 
Hugh Grant an international star. 




Fashioned around an ingenious structural conceit, 
Richard Curtis's deftly polished script is a love story 
filtered across several months and five ceremonies. 
At the first wedding, the chronically self-effacing 
Charles (Grant) is surprised to find himself flirting 
with Carrie, a forthright American (Andie MacDowell) 
engaged to another man. Subsequent encounters 
only prove that "the course of true love never 
did run smooth." Reminiscent of the screwball 
comedies of the 1930s in its depiction of wealthy 
socialites hindered by nothing but their own 
embarrassments, the film is an artful comedy of 
exquisite manners. Grant and Curtis reunited with 
production outfit Working Title for Notting Hill (1 999), 
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), and Love Actually (2003), 
all of them popular hits at home and abroad. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Channel Four/Polygram/ 




Working Title 


Producer 


Tim Bevan, Richard Curtis, Eric 




Fellner, Duncan Kenworthy 


Screenplay 


Richard Curtis 


Cinematography 


Michael Coulter 




3. 



Toy Story 



DIRECTOR John Lasseter 



RELEASED 1995 



The idea that a studio brand might define the 
quality and characteristics of a film bearing its 
Logo disappeared in the 1950s. However, starting 
with Toy Story, Pixarwas an exception to this rule. 
It revitalized digital animated technology, becoming 
a hallmark for witty, sophisticated productions. 

The first feature-length blockbuster by Pixar, a 
pioneer of computer-animated films in the 1980s, 
Toy Story was also its first feature to be released 
in movie theaters. Based on an earlier short by 
John Lasseter, it is about a group of toys belonging 
to six-year-old Andy. Cowboy Woody is his favorite, 
but when Andy gets a new doll, Buzz Lightyear, 
Woody finds himself gathering dust with the rest 
of Andy's cast-offs. Consumed with jealousy, he 
tries to get rid of his rival. 



Lasseter's CGI has a synthetic texture that suits 
the film, but also displays a fluidity and dynamism 
that the old animation style cannot match. However, 
Pixar's strengths go back to the drawing board: 
a rich story sense, fresh perspectives, and 
unforgettable characters created imaginatively, 
and with originality. Pixar developed a corporate 
culture that nourished creativity and was rewarded 
with one hit film after another: Toy Story 2 (1999), 
Finding Nemo (2003), WaLL-E (2008), and Up (2009). 



CREDITS 


Studio 


Buena Vista/Walt Disney/Pixar 


Producer 


Bonnie Arnold, Ed Catmull, 
Ralph Guggenheim, Steve Jobs 


Screenplay 


Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, 
Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow 


Awards 


Academy award: Special 
Achievement (John Lasseter] 



337 



Q Cowboy Woody 

(voiced by Tom Hanks) 
pretends to be friendly 
with Buzz Lightyear 
(voiced by Tim Allen), 
a fancy, high-tech 
action toy; the pretence 
is necessary because 
Woody feels threatened 
by Buzz. 



338 



□ Marge Gunderson 

(Frances McDormand), 
chief of police, bends 
down in the snow to 
examine the crime 
scene after a shoot- 
out in which a state 
trooper is killed. 



HUP < 





□ Film poster, 1996 



Fargo 



DIRECTOR Joel Coen 



RELEASED 1996 



Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen hit the big time 
with their sixth film, Fargo, a cleverly plotted 
thriller set effectively in snowy Minnesota, "the 
abstract landscape of our childhood— a bleak, 
windswept tundra, resembling Siberia except for 
its Ford dealerships, and Hardee's restaurants." 

A desperate Minneapolis car dealer, Jerry 
Lundegaard (William H. Macy), is in financial 
difficulties and hires two petty gangsters, Carl 
Showalterand Gaear Grimsrud (Steve Buscemi 
and Peter Stormare), to kidnap his wife so that his 
rich father-in-law Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell) 
will pay a huge ransom. He plans to split the money 
with the kidnappers, but things go awfully wrong 
when they kill a state trooper— a murder that 
police chief Marge Gunderson (Oscar-winning 
Frances McDormand, Joel Coen's wife), seven 
months pregnant, investigates. Despite being 
overwhelmed by her pregnancy, Marge conducts 



the murder investigation with astute aplomb. 
The role, played brilliantly by McDormand, is 
probably the best (and warmest) female part 
written by the Coens. Superbly photographed 
against a snowy background, the film moves 
seamlessly between black humor, violent crime 
drama, and genial comedy, while weaving a good 
yarn. The semi-stylized dialogue, so important to 
the Coens' films, is given another dimension by the 
"yah-yah" rhythms of the local Minnesotan dialect. 

CREDITS 



Production 


Po ly g ra m/G ra m e rcy/ 




Working Title 


Producer 


Ethan Coen 


Screenplay 


Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 


Cinematography 


Roger Deakins 


Music 


Carter Burwell 


Awards 


Cannes: Best Director; 




Academy Awards: Best Actress 




(Frances McDormand], 




Best Screenplay 



CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON 339 



Crouching Tiger, 
Hidden Dragon 

DIRECTOR Ang Lee 
RELEASED 2000 

The Chinese tradition of wuxia storytelling combines 
swordplay, martial arts, and Tao Buddhist philosophy. 
The movies' greatest exponent of the form was 
Hong Kong director King Hu, to whom Ang Lee 
pays tribute in this sweeping, romantic action film. 
The first Chinese-language movie to become a 
worldwide hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made 
more than $100 million in North America alone. 

It was produced by Sony (a Japanese company) 
through Columbia (its Hollywood division), with 
Chinese and European co-financing. Further, with 
a Taiwanese-born, US-based director, and both 
American and Chinese screenwriters, the film 
was global entertainment not centered on the 
American dream— perhaps a sign of things to 
come. Measured and flamboyant, the movie pits a 
reckless young couple, Jiao Long and Luo Xiao Hu 



(Ziyi Zhang and Chen Chang), against two older, 
wiser souls, Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai (Michelle 
Yeoh and Yun-Fat Chow), to battle it out over love, 
duty, and the priceless jade sword "Green Destiny." 
For many Western audiences, this was their first 
exposure to Hong Kong film's gravity-defying 
wire-work, a craft enabling swordsmen not just to 
leap through the air but to bound over rooftops. The 
climax is a duel between Chow and Zhang, high 
up among the swaying bamboo trees— a scene 
at once perilous and mysteriously romantic. This 
was choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, the kung fu 
director who helped realize Ang Lee's vision. 

[credits ~~ 



Production Columbia Tristar 



Producer 


Li-Kong Hsu, William Kong, 




Ang Lee 


Screenplay 


Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, 




Kuo Jung Tsai 



Cinematography Peter Pau 



□ Posing as a warrior, 

Ziyi Zhang as Jiao 
Long fights several 
men at once at a 
wayside station; 
her fiery passion 
shows that her fight 
is also for respect 
in a man's world. 



340 TOP 100 MOVIES 



Q Maggie Cheung 

and Tony Leung play 
two reluctant Lovers 
struggling to repress 
their passion for each 
other. Christopher 
Doyle, Wong's favorite 
cameraman, imbued 
the film with deep 
colors of red, yellow, 
and brown. 



In the Mood for Love 

DIRECTOR Wong KarWai 
RELEASED 2000 

A touching, atmospheric romance of 
unconsummated love, Wong Kar Wai's In the 
Mood for Love [Fa yeung nin wa) is set in a dreamy, 
impressionistic evocation of Hong Kong in 1962, 
and stars Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, two 
of Asia's biggest stars. 




Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Cheung) 
have rented rooms next to each other. They fall in 
love while trying to deal with the infidelities of their 
respective spouses whom they discover are involved 
with each other. Adultery has desecrated their lives: 
"For us to do the same thing would mean we are 
no better than they are," Cheung says. What is 
unusual in a film about adultery is that we only 
see the wronged couple and not the adulterers. As 
the English title suggests, In the Mood For Love is a 
mood piece with nostalgic music in the background. 
Wong's skill in recreating the Hong Kong of the 
1960s is so assured that it is surprising to discover 
that the film was actually shot in Bangkok. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Block 2, Jet Tone, 




Paradis Films 


Producer 


Wong KarWai 


Screenplay 


Wong KarWai 


Cinematography 


Christopher Doyle, 




Mark Lee Ping-bin 


Original Music 


Michael Galasso, 




Shigeru Umebayashi 


Production Design 


William Chang 




Traffic 



DIRECTOR Steven Soderbergh 



RELEASED 2000 



□ Film poster, 2000 



At a time when American film seemed increasingly 
decadent and detached from the real world, 
director Steven Soderbergh took up the challenge 
of mapping out the drug trade in this panoramic, 
multi-strand drama. 

In Washington, the US President's drug czar, 
Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), plans a 
renewed "war on drugs," not suspecting that his 
teenage daughter is addicted to heroin. In San 
Diego, Helena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is shocked 
when her husband Carlos (Steven Bauer) is 
arrested for trafficking— but realizes that the only 
way to preserve her standard of living is for him to 
carry on where he left off. Meanwhile, Tijuana cop 
Javier (Benicio Del Toro) puts his life on the line 
to enforce the law even as his superiors profit from 



smuggling. Inspired by a British television 
series but reconceived in American terms by 
Steven Gaghan, Traffic was one of a number 
of millennial movies that adopted a multi-story 
structure to address a bewildering sense of 
individual powerlessness. 



CREDITS 


Production 


Entertainment/USA Films 


Producer 


Philip Messina 


Screenplay 


Steven Gaghan 


Cinematography 


Steven Soderbergh 


Awards 


Academy Awards: Best Actor 
in a supporting role (Benicio 
del Toro), Best Director 
(Steven Soderbergh), 
Best Editing (Stephen Mirrione), 
Best Screenplay based on 
previous material 
(Stephen Gaghan) 



The Lord of the Rings 

DIRECTOR Peter Jackson 
RELEASED 2001, 2002, 2003 

Released in three parts but filmed concurrently 
(with some additional shooting along the way), 
Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's saga 
of the land called Middle Earth was a massive 
undertaking, and a critical and commercial 
triumph. Using computerized special effects with 
great artistry, Jackson redefined the word "epic." 

Immersing himself in Tolkien's richly imagined 
primordial world inhabited by hobbits, elves, and 
other strange creatures, director Jackson exploits 

CREDITS 



Production 


Entertainment/New Line/ 




Wingnut (Barrie M. Osborne, 




Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh] 


Producer 


Grant Major 


Screenplay 


Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh 


Cinematography 


Andrew Lesnie 



Awards 1 1 Academy Awards for 

The Return of the King, including 
Best Director (Peter Jackson), 
Best Picture (Barrie M. 
Osborne, Peter Jackson, 
Fran Walsh], Best Art Direction 
(Grant Major, Dan Hennah, 
Alan Lee], Best Costume Design 
(Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor], 
Best Editing (Jamie Selkirk) 



the natural wonder of his native New Zealand 
to full advantage and gets the details just right. 
However, he never tarries for long— there are too 
many mountains, rivers, and valleys to traverse, 
armies to muster, and spells to cast. The narrative 
moves at a relentless pace as Frodo Baggins 
(Elijah Wood), a hobbit, is given a ring that gives 
its wearer great power. It is too dangerous to keep 
so Frodo has to travel with his friend Sam (Sean 
Astin) to Mordor, the only place where the ring 
can be destroyed. Understood as an anti-fascist 
allegory when Tolkien wrote it, the first part of the 
film trilogy took on an unwelcome militaristic zeal 
when it was released during US campaigns in 
Afghanistan and Iraq, yet at its roots, it remains 
a tribute to the resourcefulness and courage 
of common men confronted with the evil lure of 
absolute power. In the grotesque, schizophrenic 
swamp creature Gollum, Jackson and actor Andy 
Serkis created a compelling character, computer- 
generated yet imbued with humanity. 




□ Frodo the hobbit 

(Elijah Wood), is 
mesmerized by the 
power of the ring 
in the first film, The 
Fellowship of the Ring. 



□ Ian McKellen plays 
Gandalf, the wizard 
who guides Frodo in 
his quest to destroy 
the evil ring; McKellen 
was nominated for an 
Academy Award for 
his performance. 



342 TOP 100 MOVIES 




City of God 



DIRECTOR Fernando Meirelles 



RELEASED 2002 



□ Film poster, 2002 



□ This scene captures 
the violence of Life in 
a favela, as teenaged 
gangsters are chased 
by a rival gang down 
a street. 



This searing, anecdotal account of growing up in 
the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has a startling 
immediacy and a punchdrunk, charged camera 
style that leaves the viewer reeling. 

Working with a group of young non-professionals 
in front of the camera and creating episodes based 
on true stories, Meirelles and co-director Katia Lund 
recreate 1 5 years in the downward spiral of crime 
(from the late 1960s to the 1980s) in Cidade de 
Deus, a Brazilian shantytown [favela]. During this 
time, the cocaine trade had emerged in Brazil— 
and the favelas became the hideouts of drug gangs. 
Meirelles and Lund portray children growing up 
in these violence-ridden slums. They graduate from 
reckless but amusing high jinks to the ruthless 
terrorism of their neighborhood, with a new 
generation of pre-teen sociopaths following hard on 
their heels. The narrator of the film's story, Rocket 



■ 



(Alexandre Rodrigues), escapes life in the gangs 
by virtue of his criminal ineptitude and his passion 
for photography. It is his one-time friend Li'l Ze 
(Leandro Firmino), known as Li'l Dice (Douglas 
Silva) in the 1960s, who becomes a vicious, 
cold-hearted drug lord— with Rocket as his 
reluctant court photographer. 

This powerful and fast-paced epic speaks the 
brutal language of the streets— in this respect, 
it is reminiscent of Martin Scorsese's GoodFeUas 
and the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix. The 
film is a masterful depiction of urban violence 
and the chaotic combination of drugs, guns, and 
teenagers, and successfully portrays the horror 
of life in the favelas. 



CREDITS 




Studio 


02/Video Filmes 


Producer 


Andrea Barata Ribeiro 


Screenplay 


Braulio Mantovani 


Cinematography 


Cesar Charlone 



\ 



15 



ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND 343 




Eternal Sunshine 
of the Spotless Mind 

DIRECTOR Michel Gondry 
RELEASED 2004 

This brainteaser of a Love story proves there is 
something new under the sun. Written by Charlie 
Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
drops viewers smack into an evaporating 
consciousness and demands that they make 
sense of what they are seeing. 

Joel (played by Jim Carrey) gets on a train 
in the wrong direction and meets Clementine 
(Kate Winslet). He is reserved and conventional, 
while she is impulsive and extroverted. There 
is attraction, then there is heartache, resentment, 
and so much pain that they wonder if they ever 
really knew each other at all. If he could wipe 
all traces of her out of his mind Joel would do 
it— he can and he does, in this romantic comedy 
about erasing the memory. 



Original thinkers are rare in the movie business 
but Charlie Kaufman really does project out 
of the box. The theme of amnesia is hardly 
unfamiliar territory, and the idea of a firm- 
Lacuna, Inc.— that specializes in memory erasing 
is reminiscent of Philip K. Dick's science fiction. 
However, the film's subjective stream of lucid 
and unconscious imagery is something else 
again— it is as if the movie is reinventing itself 
as it goes along. 

CREDITS 

Production Focus Features/Anonymous 

Content/This is That 

Producer Anthony Bregman, Steve Golin 

Screenplay Charlie Kaufman 

Cinematography Ellen Kuras 

Awards Academy Awards: Best Writing, 

Screenplay written for the 
screen (Charlie Kaufman, 
Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth) 



344 I GLOSSARY 

Glossary 

Given below is a selected glossary of 
the technical and critical terminology 
used throughout this book. 

Abstract film A type of non-narrative film 
that is organized around visual elements 
such as color, shape, rhythm, and size. 
Shots are related to each other by repetition 
and variation. 

Action The movement that takes place in 
front of the camera, or the series of events 
that occurs in the film's narrative. 

American underground The world of films 
and filmmakers that vary in production 
styles and exhibition venues from mainstream 
Hollywood filmmaking. Active in varying 
ways since the 1940s, the American 
underground has become noted for its 
inventive, usually low-cost methods of 
filmmaking and distributing, such as 
video filmmaking and online promotion. 

Auteur The "author" of a film, usually 
referring to the director. The concept is the 
basis of the auteur theory, which originated 
with Francois Truffaut's theory of the politique 
des auteurs in Cahiers du Cinema and was 
popularized in the US by critic Andrew Sarris. 

Avant-garde An inclusive term for many 
varieties of experimental art forms. Avant- 
garde films flourished in France, Germany, 
and the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 
part of the 1930s, each taking various paths. 

Cinema du Look A group of late 20th- and 
early 21 st-century French directors who 
eschew mainstream filmmaking and are 
informed by the image-centered art of Music 
Television (MTV). 

Cinema verite A type of filmmaking (its name 
means film truth) that aims to present the 
truth by recording real-life events in an 
objective, unadorned manner. It originated 
with the ideas of Russian theoretician Dziga 
Vertov and was practiced in the documentary 
work of US filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty. 



CinemaScope A trademarked name for a 
wide-screen projection process developed in 
1953 consisting of an anamorphic lens system 
drawn from an invention by Henri Chretien. 

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) Images 
created on a computer, often animated and 
combined with live action. 

Deep focus The effect of having objects 
close to and away from the camera in focus. 
This increase in the depth of field is brought 
about by the deep-focus lens. 

Digital effects Special screen effects made 
by reconfiguring movie frames or art stored 
inside a computer. Their uses include creating 
scenes, enhancing them, or representing 
change (or morphing). The images used to 
make these effects exist in binary digital form. 

Direct Cinema The term in the US since the 
late 1950s for cinema verite. Known through 
the work of Steven Leacock and Robert 
Drew as Living Cinema, it became Direct 
Cinema in the 1960s through the work of 
Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker. 

Direct film A film distribution system that 
bypasses traditional sales outlets such as 
television and periodicals to reach audiences 
via blogs and other online communications. 

Direct sound Software that interacts with a 
computer sound card to allow applications 
to make sound effects and music. 

Dolly (ordollie) A platform on wheels 
mounted with a movie camera, that makes 
tracking shots possible. Most move by 
hydraulics, sometimes on tracks. To dolly 
in means to move the camera toward the 
subject; to dolly out means to move it away. 

Dynamic montage The arrangement of 
intrinsically uncontroversial film images to 
offer polemical expression. This film-editing 
practice is often used for propaganda works. 

Iconography The elements of a film that 
allow its identification with a certain genre 
or type. These elements may encompass 



plot formulas, subject matter, locations, 
and style; together, these elements 
distinguish a Western from film noir 
or science fiction, and for most viewers, 
simplify movie decoding. 

Intellectual montage A type of film editing 
that eschews now-traditional Hollywood 
spatial and time continuity and instead 
employs unexpected, quick images out 
of standard time to make a point or have 
a certain emotional effect. Practiced by 
Russian director Sergei Eisenstein, these 
images often shock viewers. 

Medium long shot A film shot that places 
the main object of interest in the center of 
the composition, neither in the foreground 
or the background. Its angle is wider than a 
medium shot, but not as wide as a long shot. 

Mise-en-scene Literally the "setting in 
scene," this term refers to the existence 
and placement of actors and objects within 
the frame. Drawn from the French theater, 
mise-en-scene may for some critics also 
refer to the tone and mood created by 
the filmmaker. 

Modernism An artistic movement of the 
late 19th and 20th centuries, marked by 
its concentration on the presentation of the 
story rather than standard story components. 
Often, the term is applied casually in recent 
films, which are are considered modern as 
they explore feelings rather than follow plots. 

Montage The term referring to the 
juxtaposing of two opposing cinematic 
images to create a different meaning for 
the viewer. Deriving from the French word 
for assembling and mounting, montage 
was practiced most famously by Russian 
filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Particularly 
in the 1930s, montage of calendar dates 
and photo images was used in US films 
to indicate the passage of time. 

Negative image A reverse light capture of 
an image in photography and filmmaking, 
or the unsympathetic presentation of a 
character or issue. 



GLOSSARY 345 



Painted cells (or eels) The individual 
components of traditional animation, 
each of which has been painted on paper 
and later on acetate (originally celluloid) 
by an animation artist. Each cell represents 
a discrete movement of the character or 
characters; thousands are used for an 
animated film. 

Pan A compression of the words "panorama" 
and "panoramic," a pan is a movement of 
the camera on a fixed plane from one part 
of a scene to another. 

Postmodernism An artistic movement 
arising in the late 20th century, concerned 
with the non-linear, non-traditional, 
and self-reflexive aspects of the arts. 
Postmodernist films often reflect an 
intimacy with non-cinematic forms, 
including computer art and literature. 

Production Code The studio-generated 
self-governing system developed in 1930 
to ensure acceptable levels of moral 
behavior and good taste in films. The Code 
was revised in 1966 and a movie ratings 
system was begun in 1968. 

Rapid cutting The editing together of 
many very short film shots, often to create 
a heightened sense of excitement or danger. 
An example is the series of short cuts 
used in Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), which 
present a murder. 

Reverse slow motion A trick film effect in 
which a film is run backward in the camera 
at an accelerated rate. When projected, the 
action filmed appears to occur in reverse 
sequence and at a slow pace. 

Reverse tracking shots A trick effect 
made by running the film backward in 
a dolly- mounted camera, which is itself 
moving backward, forward, in, and out 
of a scene. 

Sensurround The trademark for a special- 
effects process developed by Universal in 
1 974 to increase the feeling of tremors 
during watching a film. 



Shock cuts A juxtaposition of widely varying 
images in a film to create a sensation of 
surprise or horror. Films employing the 
technique include An Andalusian Dog (1929) 
and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). 

Shot A single continuous action that is 
filmed or appears to be filmed in one take, 
from one camera setup. Many shots filmed 
are never seen by the audience: a single 
scene may be photographed from several 
different angles, with the director and 
editor selecting the ones that work best. 

Slow motion A film effect of making an action 
appear to occur more slowly than it would in 
reality. The effect is created by putting the 
film through the camera at an accelerated 
rate. When the film is projected at a normal 
speed, events run more slowly than usual. 

Special effects (SFX) Visual and mechanical 
effects used to create illusions on film. 

Stop motion A technique in which inanimate 
objects appear to have lifelike action. 
The effect is created by repositioning the 
inanimate figures for each frame. The 
sequence of manipulated images is projected, 
with the effect of character movement. 

Storyboard A progression of sketches or 
photographs that outline the sequencing 
of a film. They are used by directors for 
planning scenes. 

Structuralism A theory of film analysis 
in which meaning is acquired through the 
study of dual opposing images. For example, 
desire may be portrayed by a seemingly 
unconnected image of a person followed by 
an image of another person or a costly item. 

Superimposition The practice of 
photographing or placing an image or 
set of words over an existing image. The 
superimposed images are viewed as one. 
Superimposition is often used to supply 
subtitles; when several images are projected 
in rapid succession, they convey a colloquial 
Hollywood form of montage, usually for time 
passage or romantic dissolves. 



Surrealism A 20th-century theory of art that 
pursues the expression of the irrational inner 
workings of the unconscious. Surrealist film- 
making draws upon fantasy and is often made 
of a series of seemingly unrelated images. 

Take An uninterrupted shot taken by a 
camera. Directors may film many takes 
of the same action. 

Technicolor A film color process developed 
by Herbert Kalmus and Daniel Comstock 
during World War I and patented in 1922. 
Originally a two-color process, it became a 
three-color process in 1932; represented in 
movies including Gone With the Wind (1939). 

Three-strip Technicolor Developed in 1932, 
this process is an advancement on the 
original two-color Technicolor that uses 
a custom-built camera and three strips of 
film in red, blue, and green to render more 
realistic color on screen. 

Tracking shot A shot created by a camera 
mounted on a dolly or track that follows the 
movement of an actor or action. The shot 
may move in any direction to follow action. 

Triple Screen A multiple-screen video 
display monitor for use in computer 
video editing. 

VistaVision A wide-screen projection 
system developed by Paramount Pictures 
in the 1950s that creates its image through 
the technique of optical reduction from a 
large negative image to the standard release 
print image. 

Visual formality The orderly arrangement 
of surroundings and players in the movie 
frame to convey a serious or settled tone to 
the film. Often the arrangement is meant 
to contrast with the world or characters in 
the film, as in the formality masking the 
disorder in Ran (1985). 



346 I INDEX 



Index 

Page numbers in bold refer to main 
entries, italic numbers indicate 
illustrations. 

A 

Aardman Animations 83,84 
Abbott, Bud, and Lou Costello 88 
Abrahams, Jim 90 
Abraham's Valley 160,224 
AbriL, Victoria 183 
Abu-Assad, Hany 134 
Academy Awards see individual 

directors and films 
action-adventure 51-52,80-81 
Actor's Revenge, An 172 
Adventures of Robin Hood, The 80 
advertising campaigns 40, 52 
Affair to Remember, An 221 
Africa 131, 132-33 
Age of Innocence, The 91,237 
Aguirre, Wrath of God 209, 317 
Airport 93 

Aldrich, Robert 35,40,99, 121, 124 
Aleksandrov, Grigori 109, 143 
Algeria 132-33 
Aliens 51 

All About Eve 37,89 
All About My Mother 59, 159, 183 
All Quiet on the Western Front 24, 
265 

All That Heaven Allows 202,238,295 
All the President's Men 46 
Allen, Irwin 93 

Allen, Woody 45,55,88,90,182 
Allyson, June 29 

Almodovar, Pedro 59, 105, 159, 183, 
329 

Alphaville 206 

Altman, Robert 45,64,90,99,121, 

184,318 
Alvarez, Santiago 111, 162 
Amadeus 204 
Amarcord 155 
Ameche, Don 86 
American Friend, The 249 
American Graffiti 44, 1 1 7 
American in Paris, An 35, 1 08, 222 
AmoresPerros 59 
Anatomy of a Murder 69,231 
Andalusian Dog, An 1 89, 264 
Anderson, "Broncho Billy" 123 
Anderson, Lindsay 42, 95, 157, 306 
Anderson, Paul Thomas 58 
Andrei Rublev 144, 242,312 
Andress, Ursula 42 
Angelopoulos, Theo 141,184 
Angels with Dirty Faces 100,197 
Anger, Kenneth 119 
"angry young men" 41-42,306 
animation 54, 82-84 
animatronics 70, 72 
Annie Hall 45,319 
Antonio das Mortes 164 
Antonioni, Michelangelo 42, 43, 155, 

157, 185,307 
Apartment, The 38, 251 
Apocalypse Now 45, 48, 121, 196 
Arbuckle, Fatty 17, 87 
Arcand, Denys 161 



Argentina 164, 165, 166 

Argento, Dario 103, 155 

Arletty 105,283 

Arliss, Leslie 91 

Armstrong, Gillian 177 

arthouse films 56-58 

Ashby, Hal 45-46 

Ashes and Diamonds 301 

Astaire, Fred 22, 24, 29,107, 108 

Atalante, L 246, 270 

Attenborough, Richard 157, 280 

Au Revoir Les Enfants 2 1 9 

Austen, Jane 91 

Australia 176-77 

Austria 130,231,240-41,310 

Autumn Tale, An 235 

avant-garde 85 

Avatar 55, 72, 114 

Avery, Tex 83 

Avildsen, John G. 47, 104 

Avventura, L 155, 307 

B 

B-movies 23, 116 
Babette's Feast 147 
Baby Doll 34,212 
Bacall, Lauren 31,208,211 
Bacon, Lloyd 268 
Baker, Carroll 34 
Balibar, Jeanne 234 
Balkans, The 140-41 
Ball, Lucille 35, 107 
Baltic countries 147 
Bancroft, Anne 41 
Bancroft, George 100 
Bande a Part 43 
Banderas, Antonio 130, 159 
Banerjee, Victor 216 
Banky, Vilma 22 
Barbarian Invasions, The 161 
Barbera, Joe 83 
Barrymore, Drew 117 
Barrymore, John 20 
Batchelor, Joy 83 
Battle of Algiers, The 310-11 
Battleship Potemkin, The 143, 201, 261 
Bava, Mario 103, 155 
Beatles, The 44, 109, 157 
Beatty, Warren 101 
Beautiful Mind, A 86 
Becker, Jacques 101, 152 
Becky Sharp 91 
Belgium 82, 131,245 
Belle de Jour 189 
Belle Epoque 159 
Belleville Rendez-vous 82,83, 84 
Belmondo, Jean-Paul 81,206 
Beloved Electra 212 
Ben-Hur 96 
Beresford, Bruce 177 
Bergman, Ingmar 43, 91, 146, 182, 
186, 299 

Bergman, Ingrid 37, 146, 155, 236, 281 
Berkeley, Busby 24, 85, 106 
Bernal, Gael Garcia 131, 166 
Berry, Halle 217 

Bertolucci, Bernardo 43, 45, 155, 

187,315 
Besson, Luc 53, 153, 187 
Best of Youth, The 155 
Bettany, Paul 244 



Betty Blue 53 

Bicycle Thieves 154, 199,286 
Big Sleep, The 99,208 
Bigelow, Kathryn 121 
Billy the Kid 229 
Binoche, Juliette 130 
biopics 24, 86 

Birth of a Nation, The 15, 207, 258 
Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The 202 
Black God White Devil 165 
black-and-white films (modern) 55 
Blackboard Jungle, The 35 
Blackton, J. Stuart 82 
Blade Runner 48, 113,324 
Blair Witch Project, The 55, 1 03 
Blake Nelson, Tim 195 
blaxploitation 44 
blockbusters 44-45, 50-51 
Blue Angel, The 22,27, 149,266 
Blue Velvet 219,327 
Boetticher, Budd 124 
Bogarde, Dirk 247 
Bogart, Humphrey 24, 3/, 99, 100, 

208,211,250, 278, 281 
Bolivia 166 
Bollywood 174-75 
Bond films 38,42, 63,66, 116 
Bonnaire, Sandrine 245 
Bonnes Femmes, Les 1 92 
Bonnie and Clyde 40, 101, 313 
Boorman, John 46 
Borgnine, Ernest 33, 93, 314 
Borowczyk, Walerian 84 
Borzage, Frank 20, 105 
Boudreaux, Joseph 203 
Bow, Clara 18 
Brakhage, Stan 119 
Brando, Marlon 36-37,45,69,117, 

220, 294,316 
Brasseur, Claude 43 
"Brat Pack, The" 51,117 
Brazil 43, 59, 164, 165, 166 
Breathless 101,304 
Bresson, Robert 152, 153, 188 
Bridge over the River Kwai, The 35 
Brief Encounter 105 
Bringing Up Baby 24, 89 
Broadway Melody, The 21, 106 
Broccoli, "Cubby" 42 
Brocka, Lino 131 

Brokeback Mountain 59, 75, 125, 169 
Bronson, Charles 80, 101 
Brooks, James L. 90 
Brooks, Louise 20 
Brooks, Mel 90 
Brooks, Richard 35 
Brown, Clarence 19, 31 
Brown, Nacio Herb 107 
Browning, Tod 24, 102, 188 
Bulgaria 140 

Buhuel, Luis 43,85,158,162,164, 

189, 264 
Burkina Faso 133 
Burton, Richard 34,40 
Burton, Tim 112 

c 

Cabaret 109 

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The 98, 102, 

148,259 
Cabiria 154 



Cage aux Folles, La 90 

Cagney, James 24, 86, 100 
Caine, Michael 93 
Calvert, Phyllis 91 
cameras 15, 25, 55 

see also movie production 
Cameron, James 51, 52, 57, 64, 

71-72, 113-14, 180-81 
Cameron Menzies, William 113 
Campion, Jane 177 
Canada 161 

Canterbury Tales, The 228 

Canutt, Yakima 70 

Capra, Frank 22-23,29, 63,89,111, 

190,285 
Cardinale, Claudia 247 
Carne, Marcel 23,26-27,151,152, 

191,283 
Carol, Martine 225 
Carpenter, John 44, 103 
Carrey, Jim 88,90 
Casablanca 26, 28, 281 
Cassavetes, John 192 
Cavalcanti, Alberto 94, 164 
censorship 25,26,30-31,43,47, 

100, 106, 137 
Central Station 165 
Central America 162-63 
CGI see computer-generated 

imagery 
Chabrol, Claude 42,153,192 
Chadha, Gurinder 91 
Chaffey, Don 114 
Chan, Jackie 69, 104, 130 
Chandler, Raymond 99 
Chaney, Lon 17, 19, 102 
Chaplin, Charlie 13-15, 17-18, 

22-23,26,87,193 
Chaplin, Geraldine 158 
Charisse, Cyd 108 
Chelsea Girls, The 312 
Chen, Kaige 53 
Chereau, Patrice 91 
Chess Players, The 233 
Chevalier, Maurice 22, 106 
Chicago 109 
Chihwaseon 170 
Children of Paradise 1 9 1 , 283 
Chile 165-66 
China and Taiwan 167-69 
Chomet, Sylvain 84 
Christie, Julie 244 
Chronicles ofNarnia, The 9, 71 , 1 1 2 
Chukhrai, Grigori 121, 143 
Chungking Express 130 
Cimino, Michael 45,46,48,97, 121, 

321 

Cinema Paradiso 1 55, 330 

Citizen Kane 28,277 

City Lights 22,267 

City of God 59, 166,342 

Clair, Rene 23,26,112,151,152,194 

Clarke, Mae 100 

Cleopatra 15, 40, 97 

Clift, Montgomery 124 

Clockwork Orange, A 46, 47, 214 

Clooney, George 32, 195 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 45 

Clouzot, Henri-Georges 27, 152, 194 

Clouzot.Vera 194 

Cobb, Lee J. 31 



INDEX 347 



Coburn, James 229 

Cocteau.Jean 27,112,152,195,290 

Coen brothers 58,90,99,101,195, 

338 

Cohl, Emile 82 

Colbert, Claudette 25, 89 

Columbia 166 

Columbia Pictures 23,29,35-36 
Come and See Ml, 326 
comedy 25, 26, 57,87-90, 173 
Coming Home 45-46 
computer-generated imagery (CGI) 

54,93,97, 103, 112 
Conformist, The 155, 187,315 
Connery, Sean 42, 1 U, 776 
conspiracy movies 46 
Constantine, Eddie 206 
Cooper, Gary 25,26,31, 100, 120 
Cooper, Merian C. 94, 269 
Coppola, Francis Ford 44-46, 48-49, 

101, 121, 196,316 
Coppola, Sofia 58 
Corman, Roger 41, 101, 103, 117 
Cornelius, Henry 288 
Costner, Kevin 48, 125 
costume drama 91 
Coward, Noel 105,121,156,216,250 
Cowboy Bebop 173 
Crabbe, Larry "Buster" 115 
Craig, Daniel 116 
Cranes Are Flying, The 143 
Craven, Wes 103 
Crawford, Joan 18,24,28,36,71, 

105,232 
Crichton, Charles 90 
Croatia 84 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 55, 

104, 169,256-57, 339 
Crowe, Russell 97 
Cruise, Tom 51, 52, 74, 81 
Cruz, Penelope 130 
Cruze, James 17, 123 
Cuaron, Alfonso 59, 130, 162 
Cuba 162-63 

Cukor, George 22,24,39,90,197,274 
cult 92 

Cunningham, Sean 103 

Curtiz, Michael 18,24,26,80,100, 

105,124,137,197, 281 
Cusack, John 51 
Cushing, Peter 103 
Cyrano de Bergerac 54, 91 
Cyrus, Miley 117 
Czechoslovakia 84, 138-39, 204 

D 

Dalton, Timothy 66 

Damon, Matt 118 

Dances with Wolves 48, 125 

Dardenne, Jean-Pierre and Luc 131 

Daves, Delmer 35, 124 

Davis, Bette 24, 25, 26, 28, 36, 37, 

91, 105,253 
Davis, Geena 81 
Davis, Judy 216 
Day After Tomorrow, The 93 
Day, Doris 90 
Day-Lewis, Daniel 237 
De Funes, Louis 88 
De Niro, Robert 41,45,48, 69,3/9, 

321 



De Palma, Brian 81, 100, 118 
De Sica, Vittorio 30, 154, 155, 199, 
286 

Dean, James 33,36-37, 117,296 

Deaf/? in Venice 247 

Dee, Frances 102-03 

Deed, Andre 87 

Deer Hunter, The 45,46,321 

Del Toro, Benicio 99 

Delannoy, Jean 27 

Delluc, Louis 85, 151 

Delvaux, Andre 131 

DeMille, Cecil B. 14-15,18,25,27, 

33,69,96, 123, 154, 198 
Demy, Jacques 109 
Deneuve, Catherine 158, 189 
Denham Studios 23, 30, 156 
Denmark 56-57, 147,200,247 
Depp, Johnny 112 
Deren, Maya 119 
Desperately Seeking Susan 57 
Deutch, Howard 117 
Diabolique 194 
Dial M for Murder 34 
Diary of a Country Priest 153, 188 
DiCaprio, Leonardo 57, 59 
Die Hard 52,8/ 
Dieterle, William 24,86 
Dietrich, Marlene 22,25,27,29,71, 

218, 266 

digital filmmaking 48-49,54-59 
Dillon, Matt 51 
Dirty Dozen, The 40 
Dirty Harry 46, 80 
disaster 44, 93 

Disney 23, 28, 49, 54, 82, 83, 84, 

111,271 
Divided We Fall 138-39 
Dmytryk, Edward 31, 111 
documentary 16, 94-95, 156 
Dogme 95 56-57, 147 
Dogville 247 
Dolby stereo 45 
Dolce Vita 43, 155, 203,305 
Donaldson, Roger 177 
Donat, Robert 25 
Donen, Stanley 29,35,108,118, 292 
Don't Look Back 95 
Do the Right Thing 217,331 
Double Indemnity 99 
Douglas, Kirk 36,86,214 
Dovzhenko, Alexander 110, 142, 143 
Dr. Strangelove 309 
Dracula 24, 102, 103 
Dressier, Marie 87 
Dreyer.Carl 20, 102, 145,200, 264 
Dreyfuss, Richard 41, 44 
drive-in movies 33 
Duchamp, Marcel 119 
Duck Soup 88, 89, 268 
Dudow, Slatan 110 
Dunne, Irene 197 
Dupont, E.A. 21 
Duprez, June 230 
Durbin, Deanna 24 
Duvivier, Julien 152 

E 

Ealing Studios 31,90,156,176, 288 
East of Eden 34,36,212 
Eastern Europe 136-39 



Eastwood, Clint 42,46, 50-51, 65, 

80, 124, 125,200,333 
Easy Rider 41,314 
Edward Scissorhands 1 12 
Edwards, Blake 38, 88 
Egypt 132 

Eisenberg, Jesse 86 

Eisenstein, Sergei 20, 96, 110, 142, 

143, 162,201,261 
ElCid 40,97 
Elvira Madigan 145, 146 
Emmerich, Roland 93 
Empire of Passion 226 
Englund, Robert 71 
epic 96-97 
Epstein, Jean 85, 151 
Estevez, Emilio 51, 117 
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 49, 50, 74, 

323 

Etaix, Pierre 88 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
343 

Eternity and a Day 184 
Eustache, Jean 53 
Exorcist, The 44, 103 
Exquisite Sinner 240 
Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. 
West... , The 142 

F 

Fahrenheit 451 244 
Fairbanks, Douglas 15, 19, 22, 81, 
112 

Fanny and Alexander 186 
Fantasia 28, 82 
Fantomas 151 
Fargo 195,338 
Farrelly Brothers 88 
Fassbinder, Rainer Werner 47, 

53, 105, 150,202,322 
Fellini, Federico 43,155,182,203,305 
Fernandez, Emilio 162 
Feuillade, Louis 115, 151 
Fields, W.C. 25,88 
film noir 26,31,98-99,100-01 
film rating system 46-47 
financial problems 48-49, 50 
Finland 69, 146-47 
Fire Over England 156 
Fischinger, Oskar 119 
Fitzcarraldo 209 
Flaherty, Robert J. 94,203,260 
Flash Gordon 115 
Fleischer, Dave 82-83 
Fleischer, Richard 40 
Fleming, Victor 112, 273 
Flynn, Errol 24,80,81, 121, 124 
Fog, The 44 
Folman, Ari 84 
Fonda, Henry 86,253,276 
Fonda, Jane 45, 46 
Fonda, Peter 41, 314 
Foolish Wives 241 

Ford, Harrison 44,80, 116, 118,320, 
324 

Ford, John 17,25,29,39, 111, 123, 

124, 162,204, 276 
Forman, Milos 47, 130, 139,204 
42nd Street 268 
Fosse, Bob 109 
400 Blows, The 244,302 



Four Weddings and a Funeral 90, 

157, 336 
France 69,151-53 
action-type films 81, 101, 112 
animation 82, 84 
Cahiersdu Cinema 153,302 
cinema du look, le 53 
cinema verite 31 1 
comedy and drama 90,91 
costume drama 91 
directors 187, 188, 192, 194-95, 

205-06,219, 221,233-35, 243-44, 

246 

documentaries 95 

early filmmaking 20, 23 

film noir 98-99 

NewWave 42-43, 1 19, 302 

serials and series 115, 116 

and WWII 26-27,30 
Franju, Georges 23, 95 
Frankenheimer, John 33 
Frankenstein 23, 24, 102, 103, 159 
Free Zone 134 
Freed, Arthur 29, 107 
Frey, Sami 43 
Friday the 13th 50,103 
Friedkin, William 103 
From Here To Eternity 32, 35-36 
Fuller, Sam 58, 121 

G 

Gabin, Jean 23, 101, 152, 191 

Gable, Clark 24,25, 29,89 

Gance.Abel 20,120,151,205, 263 

Gandhi 86, 157 

gangster 24, 100-01 

Ganz, Bruno 150, 184 

Garbo, Greta 18-19,22,24,29, 145, 

146, 149 
Gardner, Ava 37,99 
Garland, Judy 29,37,106,107,112, 

222 

Gasnier, Louis 115 
Gattaca 69 

Gaynor, Janet 23, 105 
Gazarra, Ben 23/ 
Georgia 144,228 
Germany 69, 148-50, 236 

directors 202,209,216,218,223, 
225, 227, 249, 259 

documentaries 94 

early filmmaking 20, 23, 102 

expressionism, 259 

melodrama 105 

NewWave 47,53,322 

serials 115 

and WWII 27,30 
Ghobadi, Bahman 128 
Gibson, Mel 65,80,97, 176 
Gilbert, John 18-19,22 
Gilliam, Terry 49, 113, 157 
Girl with a Pearl Earring 68 
Gish, Lillian 18,21,258 
Gloria 192 

Godard, Jean-Luc 42,43,49,53, 58, 

85, 101, 153,206,304 
Godfather, The 44,45,101, 196, 316 
God's Comedy 160 
Godzilla 114 
Gold Rush, The 17, / 93 
Goldwyn, Samuel 28 



348 I INDEX 



Golem, The 148 

Gondry, Michel 343 

Gone with the Wind 23, 25, 91, 273 

Good Morning 226 

Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The 124 

GoodFellas 48, 54, 101 

Gould, Elliott 41 

Goulding, Edmund 105 

Grable, Betty 29 

Graduate, The 39,4/ 

Granger, Stewart 81, 91 

Grant, Cary 89, 118, 221, 274, 275 

Grapes of Wrath, The 145, 204, 276 

Great Dictator, The 22, 26 

Great Train Robbery, The 1 5, 1 23 

Great Ziegfeld, The 24 

Greatest Story Ever Told, The 40 

Greece 105, 141, 184 

Greed 241 

Greenaway, Peter 91, 157 

Greer, Jane 98 

Grierson, John 94 

Griffith, D.W. 15,22,96,100,120, 

123, 154, 207,258 
Guinness, Alec 35, 90, 320 
Gustafsson, Greta 18, 19 
Guys and Dolls 220 
Gyllenhaal, Jake 93, 125 

H 

Haantra, Bert 131 

Hackman, Gene 46, 93,3/3 

Haiti 163 

Halas, John 83 

Hall, Anthony Michael 117 

Hamer, Bent 146 

Hamer, Robert 90 

Hamlet 143 

Hammer Studios 103 

Hand, David 271 

Haneke, Michael 59 

Hanks, Tom 54,69,239,337 

Hanna, William 83 

Hannah and her Sisters 1 82 

Hanson, Curtis 99 

Harlow, Jean 24 

Harry Potter 54,58, 116 

Harryhausen, Ray 114 

Hart.W.S. 123 

Hathaway, Henry 100 

Hawks, Howard 39,89,97,99, 100, 

120, 124, 208,275 
early films 22,24,26 
Hayes, Allison 92 
Haynes, Todd 105 
Hays Code 17,22,25,39 
Hayworth, Rita 29 
Head, Edith 71 
Heimat 150,326 
Hemingway, Ernest 94 
Hepburn, Audrey 37, 71, 1 18, 250 
Hepburn, Katharine 24,48,89,274 
Hepworth, Cecil 156 
Herzog, Werner 47, 150,209,317 
Heston, Charlton 69, 96, 198 
Hidden Fortress, The 215 
His Girl Friday 89,275 
Hitchcock, Alfred 28,34,78-79, 118, 

156,210,300 
Hoffman, Dustin 41,46, 69 
Holden, William 251 



Hollywood 14-15,22-25 

Hollywood Ten 31 

Holt, Tim 211 

Home Alone 54 

home entertainment 57 

Hong Kong 53,58-59,169 

Hooper, Tobe 46, 103 

Hope, Bob 88 

Hopkins, Anthony 86 

Hopper, Dennis 41, 3/4, 327 

horror 23,24,33,50,59,102-03,173 

Hou, Hsiao-hsien 53, 169 

House of the Flying Daggers 129-30 

House of Un-American Activities 

Committee 27, 31, 32 

Howard, Ron 44 

Howard, Trevor 705 

Hrebejk, Jan 138 

HUAC see House of Un-American 

Activities Committee 
Hudson, Hugh 52, 157 
Hudson, Rock 37,49, 90,295 
Hughes, Howard 30-31,35, 120 
Hughes, John 117 
Huillet, Daniele 85 
Hulce.Tom 204 
Hung.TranAnh 131 
Hungary 137-38, 197,212,230 
Hurt Locker, The 121 
Huston, John 26,29,101,1 11,162, 

211,278 
Huston, Walter 211 

I 

I Walked with a Zombie 102-03 
Ichikawa, Kon 43, 121, 172 
I MAX 44 

In the Mood for Love 252, 340 

In the Realm of the Senses 226,318 

In Which We Serve 1 21 , 1 56, 21 6, 280 

independent filmmakers 27,56-58 

India 174-75 

Indiana Jones 116 

Indonesia 131 

Infernal Affairs 59 

Ingram, Rex 17, 120 

Intolerance 207 

Iran 59,135,213 

Iraq 134 

Island in the Sun 33 

Israel 84 

It Happened One Night 23, 25, 47, 89 
Italy 23,30,90,96, 103, 105, 116, 
154-55 

directors 185, 187, 199,203,228, 

236, 246-47 
neorealism 30, 154, 286 
Itamijuzo 173 

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 38 
It's a Wonderful Life 190,285 
Ivan the Terrible 201 

Ivens, Joris 94, 131 
Ivory, James 91, 175,328 

J 

JAccuse 120,205 

Jackson, Peter 130, 177,341 

Jaeckin, Just 47 

Jancso, Miklos 137, 138,212 

Jannings, Emil 18,27, 149,218 

Japan 30,59,81, 101, 103, 105, 116, 



121, 171-73 
directors 215,223,226 
Jarmusch, Jim 57 
Jaws 44, 239 
Jazz Singer, The 20 
Jennings, Humphrey 26, 27, 111, 156 
Jezebel 253 

Johansson, Scarlett 117, 182 
Johnny Guitar 232 
Johnson, Celia 105 
Jolson Story, The 30, 27, 86 
Jones, Chuck 83 
Jonze, Spike 58 
Jungle Fever 217 
Jurassic Park 54, 112,23? 
Justin, John 230 

K 

Kagemusha 97, 173,215 
Kalatozov, Mikhail 143, 163 
Kanal 136 
Kandahar 135 
Karina, Anna 43,206 
Karloff, Boris 24, 102, 159 
Kasdan, Lawrence 99 
Kassovitz, Mathieu 55, 153 
Katyn 248 

Kaurismaki, Aki 147 

Kazan, Elia 31,33,34,35,212,294 

Keaton, Buster 87 

Keitel, Harvey 58 

Kelly, Gene 6-7, 29, 35, 49, 82, 

107-09,292 
Kelly, Grace 37, 48 
Kerr, Deborah 32,36,22/ 
Keystone Kops, The 87 
Khan, Mehboob 174 
Kiarostami, Abbas 59,135,213,336 
Kidman, Nicole 118,247 
Kieslowski, Krzysztof 47, 58, 137, 

213, 335 
Killers, The 99 
King Kong 22, 24 , 72,269 
King's Speech, The 157 
Kingsley, Ben 86 
Kinski, Nastassja 130 
Kitano, Takeshi 101, 173 
"kitchen sink" films 157 
Kitchen Stories 146 
Klimov, Elem 121,326 
Knife in the Water 136,229 
Kolya 139 

Korda, Alexander 23, 112, 137, 156 
Korea 170 

Kristofferson, Kris 229 

Kubrick, Stanley 35, 46-47, 90, 97, 

113, 121, 157,214, 309 
Kurosawa, Akira 32, 42, 44, 66, 81 , 

97, 101, 125, 171-73,215, 291 
Kusturica, Emir 140 
Kwan, Stanley 53 

L 

La Cava, Gergory 89 
Ladd.Alan 99 
LAdmiral, Nicole 188 
Lake, Veronica 99,242 
Lam, Ringo 58, 59 
Lamarr, Hedy 130, 138-39 
Lancaster, Burt 32,36, 99, 130 
Lang, Fritz 20,23,98,100,112,124, 



130, 148, 149, 175,216, 262 
Langdon, Harry 87 
Langlois, Henri 23 
Lanzmann, Claude 95, 328 
Lasseter, John 337 
Last Laugh, The 149 
Last Tango in Paris 45, 47 
Last Temptation of Christ, The 49 
Last Year at Marienbad 234, 307 
Laughton, Charles 156, 250, 298 
Laurel and Hardy 8, 88 
Lawrence of Arabia 216, 308 
Laydu, Claude 153, 188 
Leacock, Richard 95 
Lean, David 30,35,97, 105, 156, 

216, 280,308 
Lebanon 134 
Ledger, Heath 125 
Lee.Ang 59,91, 125, 130, 169,339 
Lee, Bruce 104, 169 
Lee, Christopher 103 
Lee, Spike 56,57,217,331 
Leigh, Janet 78-79 
Leigh, Mike 91 
Leigh, Vivien 32, 156,273 
Leisen, Mitchell 89 
Lemmon, Jack 38 
Leni, Paul 102, 148 
Leningrad Cowboys Go America 147 
Leone, Sergio 42,49, 101, 124, 

155 

Leopard, The 247 

Lester, Richard 109, 157 

Lethal Weapon 81 

Leffer from an Unknown Woman 

225, 287 
Lewis, Jerry 88 
Lewton, Val 28 
LHerbier, Marcel 85, 151 
Li, Jet 104 

liberal themes 35-36 

Life With Father 197 

Liman, Doug 118 

Lincoln, Elmo 116 

Under, Max 87, 151 

Linklater, Richard 58 

Little Caesar 100 

Little Foxes, The 253,279 

Litvak, Anatole 118 

Lloyd, Harold 70, 87 

Lockwood, Margaret 91 

Lola Montes 225 

Lombard, Carole 26, 89 

Loneliness of the Long Distance 

Runner, The 42 
Lord of the Rings, The 54, 55, 116, 

177, 341 
Loren, Sophia 130, 154, 155 
Lorentz, Pare 94, 110 
Lost in Translation 58 
Louisiana Story 203 
Lowe, Rob 51, 117 
Loy, Myrna 24 

Lubitsch, Ernst 18,22,25,26,106, 

148-49,218, 279 
Lucas, George 44, 117, 320 
Lucia 163 

Lugosi, Bela 24, 102 
Luhrmann, Baz 177 
Lumet, Sidney 33 
Lumiere Brothers 12, 13, 14, 



INDEX 349 



54, 151 
Lye, Len 83, 177 
Lynch, David 219,327 
Lyne, Adrian 52 

M 

MacDonald, Jeanette 106 
MacKendrick, Alexander 90 
MacLaine, Shirley 38 
MacMurray, Fred 99 
McCarey, Leo 88,89,221,268 
McCarthy, Andrew 51 
McCarthyism 31,32 
McCay, Winsor 82 
McCrea, Joel 242 
McDonnell, Mary 125 
McDormand, Francis 338 
McDowell, Malcolm 274 
McGillis, Kelly 52 
McGrath, Douglas 91 
McLaren, Norman 83,161 
McQueen, Steve 39, 93 
McTiernan, John 52 
Mad Max 2 176 
Madame Dubarry 218 
Magnani, Anna 105 
Magnificent Ambersons, The 48 
Makhmalbaf, Mohsen 59, 135 
Malcolm X 217 
Malick, Terrence 121 
Malkovich, John 187 
Malle, Louis 42,43,47,90, 130, 153, 
175,219 

Maltese Falcon, The 26,211,278 
Mamoulian, Rouben 21, 100, 102, 
106 

Man with the Golden Arm, The 35 

Manchurian Candidate, The 33 

Mankiewicz, Joseph 35,89,220 

Mann, Anthony 40, 97, 124 

Mann, Delbert 33 

Mantegna, Joe 196 

Marais, Jean 81 

March, Fredric 102 

March of the Penguins 75, 95 

Mark of Zorro, The 81 

Marker, Chris 85,95,163 

Marriage of Maria Braun, The 202, 322 

Marshall, Garry 90 

Marshall, Rob 109 

martial arts 104 

Martin, Dean 88 

Martin, Steve 90 

Marx Brothers 25, 88, 89, 268 

Mason, James 91 

Match Point 182 

Matter of Life and Death, A 230,284 

Mayer, Louis B. 18, 24 
Maysles, Albert and David 95 
Meef Me in St. Louis 222 
Meirelles, Fernando 118,166,342 
Mekas, Jonas and Adolfas 119 
Melies, Georges 13, 14, 112, 151 
melodrama 105 

Melville, Jean-Pierre 58,99, 101, 

152,221 
Mendes, Lothar 113 
Menjou, Adolphe 31 
Menshov, Vladimir 144 
Mephisto 137 
Mercouri, Melina 105 



Meshes of the Afternoon 1 1 9 

method acting 37 

Metropolis 20, 112, 262 

Mexico 59, 162 

Meyer, Russ 92 

Meyers, Nancy 90 

MGM 32-35,38,48,49,83, 106-08 

early years 16,21,22,24,25 

and WWII 28,29 

see also individual directors 
and films 
Michell, Roger 91 
Middle East, The 134-35 
Middleton, Charles 115 
Mifune, Toshiro 81 
Milestone, Lewis 24, 25, 100, 120, 265 
Milius, John 51 
Miller, George 177 
Mills, John 30,280 
Minnelli, Vincente 29,34,35, 108, 
222 

Miramax Films 45, 54, 57, 58 
Miranda, Carmen 130,164 
Mirror, The 242 
Mission: Impossible 81 
Mitchum, Robert 98 
Mitryjean 23 
Mix, Tom 123 
Miyazaki, Hayao 84 
Mizoguchi, Kenji 105,171,172,223 
Modern Times 23, 194 
Molinaro, Edouard 90 
Mon Oncle 153 
Monicello, Mario 90 
Monroe, Marilyn 37,38,69,251,303 
Monteiro, Joao Cesar 160 
Moolaade 238 
Moore, Demi 51, 117 
Moore, Michael 95 
Morlacchi, Lucilla 247 
Morocco 133 
Morris, Errol 95 
Morrissey, Paul 312 
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears 144 
Mother India 174 
Motorcycle Diaries, The 131, 166 
"movie brats" 44-45, 48 
movie production 63 
acting 69 

animals and children 70 
cameras 15, 25, 55 
cinematography 68 
costumes and make-up 71 
design 68-69 

distribution and exhibition 74 
editing 73 
film critic 75 

Point of View (POV) shot 291 

post-production 73-75 

pre-production 64-67 

sound 70-71,73-74 

special effects 71-72 

stop-motion photography 269 

stunt performers 69-70 

technological advances 72 

theatrical release 74-75 
Mr. Hulot's Holiday 243 
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 190 
Mrs. Miniver 26, 28 
Mulligan, Robert 33 
multiplex theaters 40 



Muni, Paul 24,86, 100 

Muniz, Frankie 70 

Murnau, F.W. 18,20,148,149, 

223, 260 
Murphy, Eddie 84,90 
Murphy, Geoff 177 
musical 24,33,35,39,106-09,156 
My Blueberry Nights 252 
Myers, Mike 84,90 
Mystic River 200 

N 

Nair, Mira 175 
Nakata, Hideo 59, 103, 173 
Nanook of the North 16,94,203,260 
Napoleon 20, 151,205,263 
Nashville 45,318 
Natural Born Killers 54 
Negri, Pola 18,218 
Nelson, Judd 117 
New Zealand 177 
NewWave 38-43, 47, 165-66, 302, 
322 

Newell, Mike 90, 157,336 
Newman, Paul 71,93,2/0 
Niblo, Fred 81,96 
Nichols, Mike 39,40-41 
Nicholson, Jack 44, 185 
nickelodeons 13 
Night of the Hunter, The 298 
Nightmare on Elm Street, A 7/, 1 03 
Ninotchka 25 

Nordic countries, The 145-47 
Normand, Mabel 87 
Norris, Chuck 104 
North by Northwest 33, 118 
Nosferatu 148,223,260 
Noyce, Phillip 118, 176, 177 

o 

Brother, Where Art Thou? 195 

Oboler.Arch 33 

O'Brien, George 223 

O'Connell, Arthur 231 

Old Dark House, The 250 

Oliveira, Manoel de 160, 224 

Olivier, Laurence 26, 96, 156 

Olympia 94, 149,272 

On the Waterfront 33, 35, 294 

Once Upon a Time in America 49 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 47 

Ophuls, Marcel 95 

Ophuls, Max 95,152,225, 287 

Orpheus 195,290 

Oscars see individual actors, 

directors, and films 
Oshima, Nagisa 47, 172,226,318 
Ossessione 30, 154, 282 
Outlaw, The 30-31 
Ovitz, Michael 50 
Owen, Clive 99 

Ozu.Yasujiro 169,171,172,226,293 
P 

Pabst, G.W. 20,23, 110, 120, 149, 
227 

Pacino, Al 41,45 
Pakula, Alan J. 46, 118 
Pal, George 113 
Palestine 134 
Panahi, Jafar 59, 135 



Paradise Now 134 
Parajanov, Sergei 47, 144, 228 
Parallax View, The 46,118 
Paramount 25, 28,38 
Paris, Texas 53, 249, 325 
Park, Nick 83-84 
Parker, Alan 52, 109 
Parks, Larry 31 

Pasolini, Pier Paolo 43, 47, 155, 228 
Passage to India, A 216 
Passenger, The 185 
Passion of Joan of Arc, The 20, 200, 
264 

Passport to Pimlico 288 

Pasternak, Joe 24 
Pastrone, Giovanni 154 
Pather Panchali 175, 233,297 
Paths of Glory 35, 121 
Patrick, Robert 113 
Peck, Gregory 118 
Peckinpah.Sam 39,40, 125,229, 
314 

Penn, Arthur 40, 101, 125,313 

Penn, Sean 200 

Pennebaker, D.A. 95 

PepeleMoko 152 

Perla.La 162 

Persona 146 

Pesci.Joe 101 

Pfeiffer, Michelle 237 

Philadelphia Story, The 197, 274 

Philibert, Nicolas 95 

Philipe, Gerard 81 

Philippines 131 

Phoenix, Joaquin 86 

Pialat, Maurice 53 

Piccolo, Michel 189 

Pickford, Mary 15, 18,22 

Pierrot le Fou 206 

Pinal, Silvia 189 

Pinewood Studios 30 

Pink Panther, The 38,88, 116 

Pitt, Brad 97 

Pixar Animation Studios 84 
Poitier, Sidney 38 
Poland 47,84,136,213, 229, 
248 

Polanski, Roman 44,99, 136, 157, 
229 

Pollack, Sydney 46 
Pontecorvo, Gillo 132-33,310-11 
Porky's 50 
Port of Shadows 191 
Portal, Alexia 235 
Porter, Edwin S. 15, 123 
Portugal 160, 224 
Poseidon Adventure, The 93 
Powell, Michael 49,156,230-31, 
284 

Powell, William 24,89, 197 
Power, Tyrone 81 
Preminger, Otto 34, 35, 98, 231 
Pressburger, Emeric 49, 156, 

230-31,284 
Pretty Baby 47 

Production Code Administration 
(PCA) 25,31,34,40,46, 100 

propaganda 26, 27, 92, 
94,110-11, 154 

Protazanov, Yakov 112,142 

Psycho 38, 78-79, 118 



350 INDEX 



Pudovkin, Vsevolod 110, 142, 143,232 
Pulp Fiction 43, 58, 101 
Purviance, Edna 18 

QR 

Queen Kelly 20-21 

Rabbit-Proof Fence 176 

Rademakers, Fons 131 

Raft, George 24 

Raging Bull 48, 69 

Raiders of the Lost Ark 48, 50 

Rains, Claude 112 

Raise the Red Lantern 332 

Rambo 51, 81 

Rampling, Charlotte 130 

Rappeneau, Jean-Paul 91 

Rashomon 215, 291 

Ratanaruang, Pen-Ek 131 

Ray, Nicholas 34,35,40,64,232, 

249, 296 
Ray, Satyajit 174, 1 75, 233, 297 
Reagan, Ronald 31 
Rebecca 26, 28 

Rebel Without a Cause 34, 36, 1 1 7, 

296 
Red River 124 

Redford, Robert 46,50-51,71 

Reed, Carol 109, 118, 121, 156,289 

Reeves, Keanu 81 

Reeves, Steve 97 

Reiner, Rob 90, 92 

Reisz, Karel 41-42,66,95,157,306 

Reitz, Edgar 150,326 

Renoir, Jean 23,26,98, 120, 130, 

151-52, 175,233,272 
Republic Pictures 35 
Rescued by Rover 156 
Reservoir Dogs 58, 101,334 
Resnais, Alain 42,95,153,234,307 
Reynaud, Emile 82 
Richardson, Tony 42,91,95, 157, 

176,306 
Richter, Hans 119 
Riefenstahl, Leni 30,94,111,149, 

272 

Ringwald, Molly 51, 117 
RioLobo 208 
Ritchie, Guy 101, 157 
Rivette, Jacques 42, 153, 234 
RKO 21,24,28,33,35,49, 102-03 
Robbins, Jerome 39 
Robe, The 34, 97 
Robinson, Bruce 92 
Robinson, Edward G. 24,99,100 
Robson, Mark 103, 121 
Rocha, Paulo 160 
rockumentaries 95 
Rocky 47, 51 

Rocky Horror Picture Show, The 92 
Rogers, Ginger 22, 24, 108 
Rohmer, Eric 42,56, 153,235 
Romania 141 

romantic classics and comedy 24, 
90 

Romero, George A. 103 
Room with a View, A 328 
Rooney, Mickey 117 
Rossellini, Isabella 130 
Rossellini, Roberto 27,30,155,236 
Roth, Celia 183 
Rouch, Jean 95, 161 



Round-Up, The 137 
Rowlands, Gena 192 
Rozema, Patricia 91 
Rules of the Game, The 233, 272 
Run Lota Run 150 
Russell, David 0. 58,121 
Russell, Jane 31 
Russell, Ken 109 

Russia 30,47,94, 109, 110, 112, 121, 
142-44 

directors 201,232,242 

early films 20, 23 
Russian Ark 144 
Ruttmann, Walter 94 

s 

Sabrina 250 
Salaam Bombay! 175 
Salles, Walter 131, 166 
Saltzman, Harry 42 
Sandre, Etienne 235 
Sarandon, Susan 81 
Sasanatieng, Wisit 131 
Saturday morning matinees 28 
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning 

41-42, 157, 306 
Saturday Night Fever 47, 109 
Saunders, Clarissa 190 
Saura, Carlos 158, 159 
Sayles, John 57 
Schary, Dore 96 
Schepisi, Fred 177 
Schindlers List 38, 54, 74 
Schlondorff, Volker 149, 150 
Schoedsack, Ernest B. 94, 269 
Schulberg, Budd 31 
Schwarzenegger, Arnold 51,65,81 
science fiction and fantasy 54, 112-14 
Scorsese, Martin 45, 46, 48, 49, 54, 

59,91, 101,237,319 
Scott, Randolph 124 
Scott, Ridley 48, 52,81,97,324 
Seagal, Steven 104 
Second Breath 221 
Seidelman, Susan 7 
Sellers, Peter 38, 88, 309 
Selznick, David 0. 28, 146 
Sembene, Ousmane 133, 238 
Senegal 133,238 
Sennett, Mack 14, 17,87 
serial 115 
series 116 
Serrault, Michel 90 
Serreau, Coline 90, 153 
Seven Samurai, The 32, 81, 125, 172, 

215 

Seventh Seal, The 146,186,299 

sex, lies, and videotape 57 

sex on screen 40-41, 47 

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 228 

Shakespeare in Love 69, 75 

Sharif, Omar 130 

Shawshank Redemption, The 55 

Shearer, Norma 24 

Sheen, Charlie 51 

Sheltering Sky, The 1 87 

Shields, Brooke 47 

Shimizu.Takashi 59, 103, 173 

Shoah 95, 328 

Shoulder Arms 120 

Shrek 84 



Sidney, George 29 
Siegel, Don 46 
Signoret, Simone 194 
Silveira, Leonor 160, 224 
Simmons, Jean 220 
Sin City 99 

Sinatra, Frank 29,35,36, 108 
Singin' in the Rain 6-7, 21 , 32, 35, 

108,292 
Siodmak, Robert 98, 99 
Sirk, Douglas 105,111,238,295 
Sissako, Abderrahmane 132 
Sisters of the Gion 171 
Sjostrom, Victor 18,21, 130, 145, 146 
Smith, Jack 119 
Snow, Michael 119, 161 
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 

23, 82, 271 
social and religious problems 30-31 
Soderbergh, Steven 57, 243, 340 
Sokurov, Aleksandr 144 
Solaris 243 

Some Like It Hot 251,303 

Sound of Music, The 39, 40, 75, 310-11 

South Africa 133 

South America 164-66 

Southeast Asia 131 

Spader, James 117 

Spain 158-59 

Spartacus 97,2/4 

Spielberg, Steven 38, 44-45, 48, 50, 

54, 112-14, 116, 121,239,323 
Spirit of the Beehive, The 159 
Spurlock, Morgan 95 
Squaw Man, The 14-15, 123, 198 
Stagecoach 25,70, 123, 124,204 
Stahl, John M. 105 
Stallone, Sylvester 47, 51, 81 
Stanwyck, Barbara 28, 71, 99, 105, 

118 

Star is Born, A 37 

star system 15 

Star Wars 44, 54, 68, 74, 75, 114, 320 

Steamboat Willie 82 

Sternberg, Josef von 22,25,100, 

149,240, 266 
Stevens, George 40, 124 
Stewart, James 29, 63, 69, 124, 190, 

237,274,285,300 
Stone, Oliver 54, 121 
Storm Over Asia 232 
Strasberg, Lee 69 
Straub, Jean-Marie 85 
Streetcar Named Desire, A 32,212 
Streisand, Barbra 41 
Strictly Ballroom 177 
Stroheim, Erich von 18,20-21,241 
Stroman, Susan 109 
Stromboli 236 
Sturges, John 38, 125 
Sturges, Preston 58, 89, 242 
Sullavan, Margaret 105 
Sullivan, Pat 82 
Sullivan's Travels 242 
Sunrise 223 

Sunset Boulevard 21,32, 63, 257 
Sutherland, Donald 130 
Suzuki, Seijun 101 
Svankmajer, Jan 84 
Swanson, Gloria 18,20-21,32,63, 
257 



Sweden 145-46, 147, 186 

Swinging London 42, 157 
Szabo, Istvan 137 

T 

Taiwan 53, 169 

talent agencies and guilds 27,49-50 
talkies, arrival of 20-21 
Talmadge, Norma 22 
Tampopo 173 
Tanaka, Kinuyo 105 
Tarantino.Quentin 43,58,81, 101,334 
Tarkovsky, Andrei 47, 112, 121, 144, 

242-43,312 
Tarzan 24, 116 
Taste of Honey, A 42, 157 
Tati, Jacques 88, 153, 243 
Tatou, Audrey 130 
Taxi Driver 46, 319 
Taylor, Elizabeth 34, 37,40 
Taylor, Robert 31 
technicolor 25,91, 103 
teen 36,40,41,42,50,58,117 
Ten Commandments, The 33, 69, 96, 

198 

Terminator, The 51,52,81, 113 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The 46, 103 

Thailand 131 

Thalberg, Irving 24 

Thelma and Louise 81 

Thief of Bagdad, The 19,\\2 

Third Man, The 118,289 

Three Colors: Blue, White, and Red 

58,213,335 
3-D movies 33-34 
thriller 118 

Through the Olive Trees 213, 336 

Thurman, Uma 81 

Tierney, Gene 105 

Tierney, Jacob 161 

Tin Drum, The 149 

Titanic 54, 55, 57, 64, 93, 180-81 

To Be or Not To Be 26,279 

To Kill a Mockingbird 33 

Todd, Mike 34 

Tokyo Story 293 

Tom Jones 42, 91 

Top Gun 52, 80 

Torn Curtain 210 

Tornatore, Giuseppe 155,330 

Toto 88, 154 

Tourneur, Jacques 28, 98, 103, 163 

Toy Story 54, 82,337 

Tracy, Spencer 24, 89-90 

Traffic 57, 340 

Travolta, John 47, 109 

Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The 211 

Trier, Lars von 55,56,59,147,244 

Tristana 158 

Trnka, Jiri 84 

Truffaut, Francois 42, 43, 101, 153, 

157, 244,302 
Tsotsi 133 
Tsui, Hark 53, 104 
Tunisia 133 
Turkey 141 
Turtles Can Fly 130 
Turturro, John 195 
TV, competition from 32-34 
Twentieth Century Fox 24, 28, 29, 

35,40,48,97 



INDEX 351 



Twist 161 

2001: A Space Odyssey 1 1 3 
2046 252 
Two Women 154 
Tykwer, Tom 150 

U 

UK 103, 109, 110, 116, 156-57 
"angryyoung men" 41-42 
directors 193,210,230,250 
early films 23 
Free Cinema 95 
quota system 156 
and WWII 26,30,313 

Ulmer, Edgar 98 

UmbertoD. 199 

Underground 140 

underground 119, 183 

Unforgiven 125,200,333 

United Artists Corporation 15,38, 
48,97 

United Productions of America 83 
Universal Studios 15,23,24,44,49, 
102 

Uno, Misako 103 

UPAsee United Productions 

of America 
Uruguay 166 

V 

Va Savoir 234 
Vagabond 245 

Valentino, Rudolph 16, 17, 120 
Van Damme, Jean-Claude 104 
Van Sant, Gus 57 
Vanity Fair 91 

Varda, Agnes 153, 163,245 
Vasilyev, Dmitri 96 
Ventura, Lino 221 
Verhoeven, Paul 52, 131 



Vertigo 210,300 

Vertov, Dziga 94, 110, 142-143 

video recording 44, 48, 49, 53 

Vidor, Charles 29 

Vidor, King 20,97,105,120,246 

Vietnam 131 

Vietnam War 45-46,95 

Vigo, Jean 246, 270 

Vinterberg, Thomas 56,147 

violence on screen 46-47 

Viridiana 189 

Visconti, Luchino 30,43,91, 154, 

155,247, 282 
Vorkapich, Slavko 85 

W 

Wachowski brothers 114 
Wadleigh, Michael 95 
Waiting for Happiness 132 
Waits, Tom 49 

Wajda, Andrzej 47, 136, 137,248,301 
Walk the Line 86 
Wallace and Gromit 82, 83, 84 
Walsh, Raoul 19, 100-01, 112, 120 
Walters, Charles 29 
war 28, 120-21, 156, 171 
Warhol, Andy 119,312 
Warner Bros. 28,32-33,38,46, 

49,83, 100, 101 
early years 18, 20, 22, 24 

see also individual directors 

and films 
Washington, Denzel 217 
Watanabe, Shinichiro 173 
Waters, John 92 
Watt, Harry 94, 176 
Watts, Naomi 72 

Wayne, John 45, 46, 121, 124, 204, 208 
Weaver, Sigourney 51 
Weerasethakul, Apichatpong 131 



Weir, Peter 121, 177 
Weissmuller, Johnny 24, 116 
Welles, Orson 28, 48, 49, 99, 248, 

277, 289 
Wellman, William 100, 111, 
120-121,249 

Wenders.Wim 47,49, 53, 148, 150, 

163,249, 325 
West, Mae 25, 88 
West Side Story 38,39 
Western 16-17,39,48, 122-25 

Spaghetti Westerns 42, 125, 155 
Westfront 1918 110,227 
Whale, James 23,24, 102, 112, 

120, 159,250 
White, Pearl 62-63, 115 
Wicker Man, The 92 
Widerberg, Bo 145, 146 
widescreen 34, 44 
Widmark, Richard 100 
Wiene, Robert 98, 148,259 
Wild Bunch, The 40,314 
Wild One, The 36-37, 117 
Wilde, Cornel 86 
Wilder, Billy 21,31,38, 98,130, 

250-51,303 
Williams, John 74 
Willis, Bruce 80,8/ 
Wind, The 21 

Wind Will Carry Us, The 213 
Winger, Debra 187 
Wings of Desire 150 
Winkler, Irwin 47 
Winslet, Kate 57, 343 
Winters, Shelley 93 
Wise, Robert 39, 40, 1 13, 310 
Wiseman, Fred 95 
Wister, Owen 123 
Witherspoon, Reese 86, 91 
Wizard of Oz, The 25,65, 112 



Women of the Night 223 
Women on the Verge of a Nervous 

Breakdown 183,329 
Wong, KarWai 58, 130,252,340 
Wood, Edward D. 92 
Woodstock 95 
Woodward, Edward 92 
world film 58-59, 128-79 
Worthington, Sam 114 
Wright, Basil 94 
Wright, Joe 91 
Wrong Trousers, The 84 
WWII 26-31,94 

post-war boom 30-31 
Wyler, William 26,29,39,91,96, 

100, 111, 124, 253, 279 

XYZ 

YTuMamaTambien 59,162-63 

Yang, Edward 53 

Yordan, Philip 64 

Young, Terence 118 

youth culture 36, 40-42, 50, 58, 1 17 

Yugoslavia 140 

Zannoni, Giovannetta 67 

Zanuck, Darryl F. 29 

Zatoichi 116 

Zeffirelli, Franco 67 

Zeman, Karel 84 

Zemeckis, Robert 113 

Zero for Conduct 246 

Zeta Jones, Catherine 109 

Zhang, Yimou 8,53,128,129-30, 

168, 332 
Ziegfeld Follies 107 
Zinnemann, Fred 35-36, 124, 176 
Zola, Jean-Pierre 153 
Zucker Brothers 90 
Zukor, Adolphe 25 
Zwick, Edward 121 



Acknowledgments 



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